1st Edition

Sell-Outs or Warriors for Change? A Comparative Look at Conservative Women in Politics in Democracies

Edited By Malliga Och, Shauna Shames, Rosalyn Cooperman Copyright 2023
    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book addresses the central question of how right-wing women navigate the cross-pressures between gender identity and political ideology.

    The hope has always been that more women in politics would lead to greater inclusion of women’s voices and interests in decision-making and policy. Yet this is not always the case; some prominent conservative women such as Margaret Thatcher have rejected the feminist label while others such as Angela Merkel have reluctantly accepted it. Republican women in the U.S. Congress have embraced social and economic policies contrary to what many consider to be women’s issues while EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen is a staunch supporter of feminist ideas. Other conservative women, such as Marine LePen in France strategically use feminist ideas to justify their conservative stances on immigration. This brings up an interesting yet understudied question: under what circumstances do conservative women become feminist allies and when do they toe the party line? It is this tension between women’s political representation and conservatism that this edited volume explores.

    The chapters in this book, except for Chapter 3, were originally published as a special issue of Journal of Women, Politics & Policy.

    Introduction: Sell-Outs or Warriors for Change? A Comparative Look at Rightist, Political Women in Democracies

    Shauna Shames, Malliga Och and Rosalyn Cooperman

    1. Where Do Female Conservatives Stand? A Cross-National Analysis of the Issue Positions and Ideological Placement of Female Right-Wing Candidates

    Roosmarijn A. de Geus and Rosalind Shorrocks

    2. Mapping Right-Wing Women’s Policy Priorities in Latin America

    Victoria D. Beall and Tiffany D. Barnes

    3. Left, Right, and Center: Women’s Political Incorporation in the OECD

    Christina Xydias

    4. The Merit of Party Institutions: Women’s Descriptive Representation and Conservative Parties in Australia and the United Kingdom

    Marija Taflaga and Katrine Beauregard

    5. Framing Identity Politics: Right-Wing Women as Strategic Party Actors in the UK and US

    Catherine Wineinger and Mary K. Nugent


    Malliga Och is Associate Professor of Global Studies at Idaho State University, USA. She is an expert on women in politics focusing on conservative parties in advanced industrialized democracies. She is the co-editor of The Right Women: Republican Party Activists, Candidates, and Legislators (with Shauna Shames, 2018).

    Shauna Shames is Associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University – Camden, USA.  She is the author of Out of the Running: Why Millennials Reject Political Careers and Why it Matters (2017), co-author of Survive and Resist: The Definitive Guide to Dystopian Politics (2019), and co-editor of The Right Women: Republican Activists, Candidates, and Legislators (with Malliga Och, 2018).

    Rosalyn Cooperman is Professor of Political Science at the University of Mary Washington, USA. Her research focuses on how political parties influence women’s political candidacy. Since 2004, she has served as a principal investigator for the Convention Delegate Study, a survey of Democratic and Republican party activists.