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Gendered Incentives, Party Support, and Viable Female Presidential Candidates in Latin America

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Women hold less than 10 percent of chief executive positions worldwide. Understanding how women democratically access these posts requires theorizing how they gain resources from established parties to mount viable electoral campaigns. We argue that in stable regimes marked by representational malaise parties respond to gendered incentives and nominate female candidates. Drawing on Latin American cases, we show how diverse parties nominated women in order to signal change or novelty, to credibly commit to "feminine" leadership and issues, and to mobilize female voters. A negative case depicts how a lack of representational critiques can fail to incentivize parties to back women instead of men. Our focus on gendered incentives provides a new framework that places political parties at the center of questions about women's electoral opportunities.

Keywords: CANDIDATES; LATIN AMERICA; POLITICAL PARTIES; WOMEN PRESIDENTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2021

This article was made available online on July 31, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Gendered Incentives, Party Support, and Viable Female Presidential Candidates in Latin America".

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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