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dc.contributor.advisorReich, Gary M.
dc.contributor.authordos Santos, Pedro G.
dc.date.accessioned2013-02-17T16:31:52Z
dc.date.available2013-02-17T16:31:52Z
dc.date.issued2012-12-31
dc.date.submitted2012
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/ku:12412
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/10812
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation provides insights on what influences women's descriptive representation in state legislatures in Brazil. The study of female representation in Brazil provides for a good case study as the country uses a gender quota system for legislative positions since 1995 and yet has not seen a significant improvement in the number of women elected to such institutions. In order to understand the roots of female under-representation, this dissertation combines Feminist Historical Institutionalism--a complementary approach to Historical Institutionalism that focuses on the role of gender in the development of institutions--and empirical approaches to determine why so few women are elected to Brazil's state legislatures. This dissertation relies on historical narratives, interviews and participant observation, and statistical analysis to uncover the ways in which the Brazilian political system influences the low number of female candidates elected to state legislatures. The focus on state legislatures is warranted as most research on female representation in Brazil has focused on the federal level. I argue that in federal systems like Brazil, where politicians normally rise through local and state politics before becoming federal legislators, scholars must pay closer attention to the electoral dynamics in these lower level elections to fully capture the essence of female representation at the national level. The historical analysis shows that the combination of an electoral system that is mostly unchanged for over 60 years, a legacy of formal and informal discrimination of women in formal politics, and the constant suppression of women's movements throughout the 20th century led to the development of a system that marginalizes women in the present political system. Even as the Brazilian government attempts to address the issue of gender inequality by establishing a gender quota in 1995, women continue to be marginalized from electoral politics. The quota law fails to increase the presence of women in legislatures because the language of the law combined with Brazil well-established electoral rules provides parties with loopholes that allow them to field female candidates but not provide them with the support needed to win the election. The empirical analysis show that political capital--the skills acquired or learned by candidates that make them "electable" in the eyes of political elites, campaign donors, and voters--is key in increasing female representation. The analysis shows, however, that political capital in Brazil is gendered in the sense that the professions that are more likely to raise more campaign funds and more likely to win an elected seat are dominated by male candidates, reinforcing the idea that women are marginalized from electoral politics in Brazil.
dc.format.extent167 pages
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
dc.subjectPolitical science
dc.subjectGender studies
dc.subjectBrazil
dc.subjectGender
dc.subjectRepresentation
dc.subjectWomen and politics
dc.titleGendering Representation: Parties, Institutions, and the Under-Representation Of Women In Brazil's State Legislatures
dc.typeDissertation
dc.contributor.cmtememberBejarano, Christina
dc.contributor.cmtememberBritton, Hannah E.
dc.contributor.cmtememberHerron, Erik
dc.contributor.cmtememberKuznesof, Elizabeth A.
dc.thesis.degreeDisciplinePolitical Science
dc.thesis.degreeLevelPh.D.
kusw.oastatusna
kusw.oapolicyThis item does not meet KU Open Access policy criteria.
dc.rights.accessrightsopenAccess


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