Exploring the Extent and Causes of Gendered Campaign Strategies
This paper explores whether there is such a thing as a male political campaign strategy and, if so, what it entails and how it can be explained. Existing research on gendered campaigning has typically focused on the difference of female politicians as compared to the male norm. Some studies have demonstrated that women run ‘as women’ in the issues that they emphasize in their campaigns (e.g. Hernson, Lay and Stokes 2005; Larson 2001). The difference of female candidates compared to their male counterparts is thus still the most common focus of research. Considering that female politicians are, by now, no newcomers to the political scene in the West, it is time to ask to what extent male politicians still find it relevant to run ‘as men.’ Has increased gender equality in representation cemented stereotypical gender roles among political candidates, creating separate spheres of influence for men or women or has women’s descriptive and substantive representation instead institutionalized new issues to the extent that male politicians embrace a wider, and less gendered, definition of the political?
To answer our research questions, we draw on the 2005-2013 Comparative Candidates Survey (CCS). The survey compiles comparable political candidate data from Australia, Canada, and 17 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway Portugal, Romania, Sweden, and Switzerland), allowing us to investigate the presence of male campaign issues and strategies cross-nationally, and to relate them to the overall level of male dominance in politics in the country in question. To analyse the data, we make use of multivariate Logit and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression analysis. The paper contributes to the existing literature on gender and representation by exploring the ‘difference’ of men’s campaign issues as well as strategies.