Individual Representation

My article on individual representation has now been published. In the article I develop a new measure of political representation. It is based on a new conceptualization, complementing existing approaches. The focus is on the individual (in society), and an individual representation score is calculated to express how well the individual is represented by the legislature. These scores involve a double comparison, first with the positions of other individuals in society, and then with the positions of the members of parliament. R-code to calculate these individual representation scores is available from R-Forge.

Representation of Women in National Legislatures

After a considerable time as an on-line paper, my article on the political representation of women in national legislatures finally appeared in print. I use a large cross-national sample of all free and partly-free countries (according to Freedom House). Like some recent contributions, I find that attitudes toward women as political leaders are a powerful predictor for the share of women in the national legislature. This link was already established by Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, amongst others, but in this article I also consider the role of gender quotas. Once controlling for regional or cultural/attitudinal differences, voluntary party quotas and legislative quotas do not appear to be significant. Obviously there are often implementation issues, but we need to think more carefully about the underlying mechanisms: I argue that cultural variables are probably behind both the share of women in legislatures and the (successful) implementation of quotas.

Norris, P., and R. Inglehart. 2001. “Cultural obstacles to equal representation.” Journal of Democracy 12(3): 126–40.