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Changing Institutions, Changing Dynamics of Women’s Representation?

Institutions
Interest Groups
Public Administration
Representation
Women
Quota
Anne Maria Holli
University of Helsinki
Anne Maria Holli
University of Helsinki
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Abstract

Although being forerunners in women’s parliamentary representation, Nordic states simultaneously display a type of societal corporatism, which used to produce strong male dominance in the ‘corporatist channel’, i.e. public bodies comprised of bureaucrats and interest group representatives which are utilized for policy preparation and implementation. Focusing on Finland between 2000 and 2015, the paper investigates the state and trends of women’s descriptive and functional representation in commissions of inquiry in an era when Finnish policy-making institutions, processes and democracy have undergone a series of changes. Commissions of inquiry are also subject to second-level gender quotas which are supposed to ensure a gender parity among members – but do they succeed in achieving this objective? Does descriptive representation enhance women’s functional representation or, rather, work against it? How do institutional changes affect women’s representation? The aim of the research is to contribute to a relatively little studied field within gender and politics, namely the systematic research of gender in public policy-making.