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Nominating Women for EP Elections: Exploring the Role of Political Parties’ Recruitment Procedures

Jessica Fortin-Rittberger
Universität Salzburg
Jessica Fortin-Rittberger
Universität Salzburg
Berthold Rittberger
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – LMU

Abstract

The European Parliament (EP) is heralded as one of the most gender-equal elected bodies in the world. Several studies have found that the use of proportional representation (PR) in elections for the EP holds a large part of the explanation. In this paper, we investigate the effect of party nomination structures on women’s representation in the context of EP elections. Our findings suggest that the inclusiveness of the selectorates in the early stages of candidate selection processes is one of the key determinants of representativeness of lists in terms of their gender composition. Moreover, we find that neither territorial centralization nor the inclusiveness of the selectorate in the later stages of candidate selection play a significant role: They key to the puzzle therefore lies in the composition of the initial pool of potential candidates and those who nominated it.