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

Postgraduate Course: Gender, Politics and Representation (PGSP11542)

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 examines the interconnections among gender, politics, and representation using a global approach. It incorporates concepts of gender and intersectionality in evaluating the implications of political representation of the margianlized groups for the broader society. By focusing on the role of gender in political representation and engagement, this course asks three main questions:

(1) to what extent do women and men think, believe, and act differently politically and what explains these differences?;

(2) why are women underrepresented in political institutions and to what extent do women political leaders make a difference?;

and (3) to what extent are different political institutions, structures, processes, and media gendered and how does such gendering shape the gender gap in political representation and engagement?

Specifically, this course takes an intersectional approach by paying attention to how women with varying identities, such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc., differ amongst themselves in the realm of politics. While the course focuses on gender and representation, students will also explore the relationship between feminist and mainstream ontological, epistemological, and methodological approaches of studying global politics by completing a research proposal.
Course description This course investigates the links among gender, politics, and representation, taking a global approach. Drawing on comparative analyses, the course takes context into consideration and introduces students to the previous gendered patterns, as well as the contemporary gendered state of political representation across the globe. Using a feminist lens, students will examine the systematic barriers to women¿s political representation, such as the role of regime types, electoral systems, political parties, quotas, among other things, in the gender gaps at the leadership level. Students will also explore the gender gaps in political participation, knowledge, and recruitment as obstacles to engendering politics. Students will investigate the substantive and symbolic impact of women as political leaders on policymaking, as well as beyond policymaking. In addition to critically engaging with concepts and theories related to representation, students will also be exposed to cross-cutting methodologies that empirically answer questions related to gender, politics, and representation. Through the course assessments, students will also be exposed to assessing the validity of research designs and gain skills to conduct research.

The course will take the form of weekly two-hour seminars. Students are expected to attend each class having completed the essential readings.

Seminar topics include: gender and intersectionality, descriptive, substantive, and symbolic representation, gendered political institutions, stereotypes and media, gender gaps in political participation, knowledge, ambition, and recruitment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) ¿ Participation (10%) ¿ attendance and informed, collegial, and meaningful contributions to class discussion

¿ Research proposal (80%) ¿ a 4,000 word research proposal. Students will conduct preliminary literature review and identify a research question of their interest that is relevant and feasible. In this proposal, students will explain their research question and expected findings. Students will also identify a research design that is the most appropriate in testing their hypotehses. Students will identify the potential data and methodology that they may use in their research design. Students will conclude the proposal with a budget (if appropriate and necessary) and timeline for the completion of their proposed idea. Students will also discuss the relevance, contributions, and the broader merits of their research ideas.

¿ Peer-review (10%) ¿ a 500 word essay that details feedback to another studnets¿ research proposal draft. Students will be the reviewers of one another¿s proposal draft and offer meaningful and constructive feedback in a timely fashion to help one another improve their manuscript. Before students write their review, they will be provided with a sample of how a review is conducted. A grading rubric will be provided to guide students¿ peer-review. Before students receive their feedback from their peers, I will also moderate their feedback to ensure that no inappropriate comments or critiques are included.

Detailed written guidance for each of the assessments will be offered in the course guide and discussed in class. This will include detailed guidance on the research proposal and peer-review using assessment forms and marking criteria.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain the gendered patterns of political representation and participation across the local, national, and global scales
  2. Communicate complex scholarly concepts and theories and apply them to contemporary politics
  3. Critically analyze the role of gendered institutions in shaping the gender gaps in political representation, as well as the impact of gendered political representation in and beyond the political realm
  4. Show a critical understanding of feminist and mainstream approaches to studying gender, politics, and representation
  5. Develop research and analytical skills that facilite independent thinking and project management
Reading List
Doan, A. E., & Haider-Markel, D. P. 2010. The role of intersectional stereotypes on evaluations of gay and lesbian political candidates. Politics & Gender, 6(01), 63-91.

Kittilson, Miki Caul. 2008. Representing Women: The Adoption of Family Leave in Comparative Perspective. Journal of Politics, 70(2): 323-334.

O¿Brien, Diana and Krook, Mona Lena. 2012. All the President¿s Men? The Appointment of Female Cabinet Ministers Worldwide. Journal of Politics 74(3): 840-855.

Schwindt-Bayer, Leslie. 2006. ¿Still Supermadres? Gender and the Policy Priorities of Latin American Legislators.¿ American Journal of Political Science, 50(3):570-585.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will strengthen their skills in the following, which will be particularly pertinent to developing their critical thinking abilities and employability:

1. Critically engage with issues related to gender, politics, and representation in a constructive manner
2. Communicate complex scholarly concepts and theories and apply them to contemporary politics
3. Construct an appropriate research design to answer a research question or empirically test a hypothesis
4. Evaluate the extent to which evidence supports arguments
5. Manage a project through creating a reasonable budget and timeline for project completion
6. Provide feedback in a collegial and professional manner
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sarah Liu
Course secretaryMs Emilia Czatkowska
Tel: (0131 6)51 3244
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