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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Gender and Sexuality in Global Politics (PGSP11440)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to explore the implications for domestic and international politics of taking gender seriously. It considers how political issues manifest themselves at local and global levels and, crucially, the interrelationship between the two. By focusing on how gender plays a role in political institutions, participation, and representation in a transnational context, this course asks three main questions: (1) to what extent to men and women think, believe and act differently from each other in politics and what might explain these differences; (2) to what extent are different political institutions, structures and processes gendered and how might they shape women's and men's political activities; and (3) why are women under-represented in global politics and to what extent to female political leaders make a difference? This course also pays attention to how women differ amongst themselves in the realm of politics, particularly when their identities as women intersect with race, ethnicity, and sexuality. By considering how a variety of feminist approaches can contribute to our understanding of these issues, students will explore the relationship between feminist and mainstream approaches to politics and IR, their different ontological, epistemological, and methodological perspectives.
Course description We begin by examining what gender and intersectionality mean in the research of politics and IR. We then evaluate the extent to which the gap exists in men's and women's political knowledge, ambition, and running for office. We use a feminist lens to assess the mechanisms by which the gender gap is evaluated in extant scholarship. Then, the focus of the course shifts to the role of gender in political institutions. We investigate how regime types, electoral systems, and political parties discourage or enhance women's place in politics and discuss the implications of these systems for a truly representative and legitimate democracy. We also examine the extent to which women are represented in different political arenas, including the parliament and the cabinet, as well as the challenges minority candidates face in order to achieve political presence. We consider the impact of women as political leaders on policy-making and beyond policy-making. Lastly, we conclude the course with discussing gender in citizen politics by examining the gender gap in political participation and social movements, and the implications of considering unconventional forms of participation in order to enrich the citizenship and empowerment of women.

The class meets for a two-hour session on Thursdays at 9:00am. The sessions will involve brief lectures, seminar discussions, and in-class group activities. Media, class debates, activities, presentations, and student-leadership based on in-depth understanding of assigned readings will be components of the course to enhance student learning.

Indicative topics:
Introduction to gender in Politics and IR
Intersectionality in Politics and IR
Gender gap in political knowledge, ambition, and running for office
Political institutions: regime types, electoral systems, and political parties
Women¿s political representation: parliament and cabinet
Do women make a difference? Women leaders¿ influence on policymaking
Do women make a difference? Women leaders¿ influence beyond policymaking
Stereotypes of gender, race, and sexuality in Campaigns
Gender gap in political participation and social movements
Gender, citizenship, and empowerment

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of sex and gender as categories of analysis in relation to political processes and issues (both local and global).
  2. Understand and critically evaluate the links and differences between feminist and mainstream approaches to the study of global politics and IR.
  3. Develop research and analytical skills that facilitate independent learning.
  4. Communicate with others in a clear and concise manner, both verbally and in writing, nurtured in seminar activities, group work, and essay construction and feedback.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Claire Duncanson
Tel: (0131 6)50 4624
Course secretaryMrs Casey Behringer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2456
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