A Constituency Theory for the Conditional Impact of Female Presidents
The theory argues that female presidents are more likely to (1) mobilize women on the basis of gender identity (core constituency); and (2) network with elite feminists (personal constituency). Only presidents who meet both conditions are most likely legislate on behalf of women. Controlled case studies illustrate the theory: Michelle Bachelet in Chile and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil attempted to mobilize women on the basis of gender identity, but only Bachelet succeeded. Furthermore, only Bachelet maintained extensive ties with elite feminists. Original evidence shows that Bachelet, but not Rousseff, legislated in ways that statistically differed from her co-partisan male predecessor. Bachelet's constituencies incentivized and enabled some of her pro-women proposals while a lack of expertise from feminists inhibited Rousseff's pursuit of pro-women change.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2019
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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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