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Praise for new FIIN Collection

The new FIIN collection Gender, Politics, and Institutions: Towards a Feminist Institutionalism, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011, is already attracting positive responses from scholars in the field of gender and politics and institutionalist analysis.

This superb book is one of those rare collections that moves a field forward. Scholars of institutionalism, for all their vital contributions to the social sciences, have given short shrift to inequality. Feminist social scientists have made inequality their core concern without an explicit analytical strategy to guide the study of norms and institutional practices. Krook, Mackay and their contributing authors, in building bridges between domains of scholarship that have remained separate for too long, open up a path-breaking terrain for the study of feminist institutionalism.

-Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies, Cornell University

A really innovative and important collection which shows, both theoretically and in rich empirical detail, the considerable challenge that feminism poses to contemporary institutionalism and the value to feminism of developing its own institutionalism. I only hope that the institutionalist turn in feminist political analysis which it heralds is matched by a feminist turn in institutionalist analysis.

-Colin Hay, Professor of Political Analysis, University of Sheffield

This book demonstrates how very much feminist and gender studies have to contribute to the ‘neo-institutionalist' turn in political science. It offers major insights into the ‘gendering' of institutions, with essays by top scholars on a wide range of issues, from government structures to electoral politics, family organization to welfare provision. Most importantly, it makes it clear that gender matters in a multitude of ways, and that one cannot fully understand institutional continuity or change without coming to grips with ‘feminist institutionalism'

-Vivien A. Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Boston University

In Gender, Politics and Institutions, a group of international -and internationally recognized - scholars of gender and politics examines how political institutions function to create, sustain, structure, undermine and transform inequalities of political power between women and men. The book provides a careful elucidation of elements of institutional analysis and institutionalist theory. It undertakes a detailed discussion of gender: where gender can be found in institutions and institutional actors, and how gender works as an active - if not always visible and explicit - process. The various chapters address gendered institutionalist public policy, state structures, electoral competition, political development of new institutions (such as the International Criminal Court), and the continuities and disruptions that confirm and/or recast gendered political arrangements in the context of state transitions to democracy. The volume's scope of institutional analysis is matched by the range of country cases it employs, making it a powerful contribution to comparative politics research. The collection is also an acknowledgment of - and a challenge to - mainstream comparative political institutionalism, in each of its variants, and offers an opening for enriching and extending political science's appreciation of how political institutions function across time. Gender, Politics and Institutions is an excellent contribution to the study of political institutions, a volume that comparative scholars of institutional politics, state political development, and gender and the state will turn to as the foundational work on gender, institutions, and political power.

-Karen Beckwith, Flora Stone Mather Professor of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University

Based on original research, the book shows how institutionalism can benefit from a gendered analysis of power, agency and change. Feminist political science, meanwhile, is using institutionalism to better understand the making and breaking of the rules of the political game -and how best to craft opportunities for greater equality and social justice. A fascinating and productive synthesis that will be of value to students, scholars and policymakers alike.

-Vivien Lowndes, Professor of Local Government Studies, de Montfort University

Does institutionalism need a concept of gender? And does feminism need institutionalism? Probably the answers to these questions will turn on what we think is good social science. Good feminist social science is simply good social science, it is no more or less than good practice. It should concomitantly be impossible to imagine a good social science that ignores gender. Yet this is precisely what most political science does and the new institutionalism, despite its concern with power relations in institutions, is no exception. Arguably any good institutionalist should realise the importance of gender relations to the configuration of institutions. But they do not. They need to be reminded and feminist institutionalism, exemplified by the essays in this groundbreaking volume, is the reminder.

- Joni Lovenduski, Anniversary Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London (excerpt from the Foreword to Gender, Politics, and Institutions)

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