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ECPG hosts FIIN roundtable, Belfast 2009

The FIIN Roundtable: Feminism and Institutionalism: promising synthesis or another case of "master's tools"? attracted considerable interest at the First European Conference on Politics and Gender (ECPG) in January. So much so, that people had to sit on the floor and the stairs!

In a lively and provocative session, members of the international research network FIIN ( explored the intersection between feminism and institutionalism, reflecting on the potential for, and limits of institutionalist frameworks for the study of gender and politics. It was structured around three key questions/themes: What do (neo) institutionalist approaches contribute to feminist scholarship on political institutions, broadly defined? What does gendered and institutionally-focussed feminist work contribute to mainstream institutionalist understandings of structure and agency in political life? Is there a feminist institutionalism and, if so, of what does it comprise and how might it be operationalised? Panelists - and interventions from the floor - considered the epistemological and strategic costs and benefits of "borrowing" or "synthesizing" concepts and frameworks: what are the prospects for a genuine two-way engagement and synthesis - or will efforts flounder in another case of "master's tools" and mainstream indifference?

Click on name to view notes from each contributor


Dr Fiona Mackay, University of Edinburgh, Scotland



Panelists (in order of speaking)


1. Prof Joni Lovenduski, Birkbeck College, University of London, England



2. Dr Louise Chappell, University of Sydney, Australia/ University of Leiden, Netherlands



3. Dr Lenita Friedenvall, University of Stockholm, Sweden



4. Meryl Kenny, doctoral candidate, University of Edinburgh, Scotland



5. Prof Georgina Waylen, University of Sheffield, England


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