lost in the mainstream? gender in dutch political science education
What have been the losses and the gains of the shift from women’s studies to gender studies for political science in The Netherlands? What are present-day opportunities and how should we move forward? Our systematic analysis of the Bachelor programmes offered by four Dutch political science departments shows that gender is not a central feature in the current curricula. Gender in political science has become dependent on personal interests and engagements at the individual level rather than being sustained by structural commitments at the departmental level. This article argues that a gender perspective should be part of the analytical toolkit of anyone trained as a political scientist. Students should be made aware that gender is a fundamental aspect of the organisation of power and therefore unambiguously political. Gender awareness impacts upon both students’ academic development and Dutch politics given that many graduates take up jobs in or close to the political environment. With this in mind, being equipped with a ‘gender lens’ will enable students to identify and explain gender inequalities and more importantly stimulate them to develop innovative strategies to close the gaps.