Skip to main content

introduction: gender in european political science education – taking stock and future directions

Abstract

Major changes have occurred in the teaching of gender since the shift from women’s studies to gender studies. In some institutions gender studies became a separate and interdisciplinary track within social sciences and humanities, while in others it either lacked integration or disappeared altogether. What do these developments mean for gender in political science curricula? In this symposium scholars from different European countries, including Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom reflect on the state of gender within political science education. This introductory essay places national experiences within a broader European perspective; highlighting that gender is virtually absent from much of the political science curriculum. Gender and political science courses suffer from issues of supply (rather than demand), such as the persistent under-representation of women academics within political science as well as tight budget constraints. We argue that this is problematic and that gender should be a core part of the political science curricula for three key reasons: (i) politics is about power and power is always gendered; (ii) embedding gender in the core of political science education may positively affect gender equality in the profession and politics; and (iii) it reflects the contemporary resurgence of feminist activism across Europe. We conclude with concrete recommendations about how institutions and individuals can help address the virtual absence of gender, including: the integration of gender-related courses in politics programs; Gender & Politics related awards; big data collection projects regarding women in the profession and gender and politics teaching; and the development of leadership courses for women in politics.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. For accounts interdisciplinary gender studies see the book series ‘Teaching with Gender’ edited by the European Association for Gender Research, Education and Documentation (ATGENDER), published by Central European University Press; for education studies see Ali et al. (2004).

  2. See http://www.femfiin.com, accessed 19 January 2015.

  3. See http://wappp.hks.harvard.edu/oval-office-program, http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/education_training/ReadytoRun/RtoR_overview.php, http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/unique-learning-opportunities/barbara-lee-fellowship-program and http://www.umb.edu/academics/mgs/publicpolicy_publicaffairs/graduate/glpp, accessed 24 July 2015.

References

  • Abels, G. (2016) ‘The gender gap in political science education in Germany’, European Political Science doi:10.1057/eps.2015.80.

  • Abels, G. and Woods, D.R. (2015) ‘The status of women in German political science’, European Political Science 14(2): 87–95.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ackerly, B.A., Stern, M. and True, J. (eds.) (2006) Feminist Methodologies for International Relations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Ackerly, B. and True, J. (2010) Doing Feminist Research in Political and Social Science, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ali, S., Benjamin, S. and Mauther, M. (eds.) (2004) The Politics of Gender and Education, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Alonso, A. and Lombardo, E. (2016) ‘Ending ghettoization? Mainstreaming gender in Spanish political science education’, European Political Science doi:10.1057/eps.2015.77.

  • Altinay, A.G. (2004) The Myth of the Military-nation: Militarism, Gender, and Education in Turkey, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Atchison, A.L. (2013a) ‘Introduction: Teaching gender and politics: Views from the field’, Politics & Gender 9(2): 207–209.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Atchison, A.L. (2013b) ‘The practical process of gender mainstreaming in the political science curriculum’, Politics & Gender 9(2): 228–235.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bates, S. and Savigny, H. (2015a) ‘Introduction: Women in European political science’, European Political Science 14(2): 75–78.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bates, S. and Savigny, H. (2015b) ‘Conclusion: The future status of women in European political science’, European Political Science 14(2): 131–136.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bayes, J.H. (ed.) (2012) Gender and Politics. The State of the Discipline, Opladen: Barbara Budrich Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bonjour, S., Mügge, L. and Roggeband, C. (2016) ‘Lost in the mainstream? Gender in Dutch political science education’, European Political Science doi:10.1057/eps.2015.78.

  • Briggs, J. and Harrison, L. (2015) ‘The status of women in UK political science’, European Political Science 14(2): 105–115.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cassese, E.C. and Bos, A.L. (2012) ‘A hidden curriculum? Examining the gender content in introductory-level political science textbooks’, Politics & Gender 9(2): 214–223.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cassese, E.C., Holman, M.R., Schneider, M.C. and Bos, A.L. (2015) ‘Building a gender and methodology curriculum: Integrated skills, exercises, and practices’, Journal of Political Science Education 11(1): 61–77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Childs, S. and Krook, M.L. (2006) ‘Gender and politics: The state of the art’, Politics 26(1): 18–28.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dahlerup, D. (2010) ‘The development of gender and politics as a new research field within the framework of the ECPR’, European Political Science 9: 85–98.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davis, A. (1982) Women, Race and Class, London: The Women’s Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dean, R.D. (1998) ‘Masculinity as ideology: John F. Kennedy and the domestic politics of foreign policy’, Diplomatic History 22(1): 29–62.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Doherty, L. (2011) ‘Filling the female political pipeline: Assessing a mentor-based internship program’, Journal of Political Science Education 7(1): 34–47.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Elizondo, A. (2015) ‘The status of women in Spanish political science’, European Political Science 14(2): 96–104.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Evans, E. (2015) The Politics of Third Wave Feminism: Neoliberalism, Intersectionality and the State in Britain and the US, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Evans, E. and Amery, F. (2016) ‘Gender and politics in the UK: Banished to the Sidelines’, European Political Science doi:10.1057/eps.2015.79.

  • Faludi, S. (1991) Backlash. The Undeclared War Against American Women, New York: Three Rivers Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Foster, E., Kerr, P., Hopkins, A., Byrne, C. and Ahall, L. (2013) ‘The personal is not political: At least in the UK’s top politics and IR departments’, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 15(4): 566–585.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goertz, G. and Mazur, A.G. (eds.) (2008) Politics, Gender, and Concepts. Theory and Methodology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Hearn, J. (2004) ‘From hegemonic masculinity to the hegemony of men’, Feminist Theory 5(1): 49–72.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hemmings, C. (2011) Why Stories Matter: The Political Grammar of Feminist Theory, Durham: Duke University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kantola, J. (2015) ‘Political science as a gendered discipline in Finland’, European Political Science 14(2): 79–86.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krook, M.L. and Norris, P. (2014) ‘Beyond quotas: Strategies to promote gender equality in elected office’, Political Studies 62(1): 2–20.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krook, M.L. and Childs, S. (2010) Women, Gender and Politics. A Reader, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lindroos, K., Cardinal, L., Sawer, M. and St-Lauran, M. (2014) IPSA Gender Monitoring Report 2013, Quebec: International Political Science Association.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lukes, S. (1974) Power: A Radical View, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Maliniak, D., Powers, R. and Walter, B.F. (2013) ‘The gender citation gap in international relations’, International Organizations 67(4): 889–922.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Matthes, M. (2013) ‘Conclusion and rejoinders’, Politics & Gender 9(2): 207–209.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mazur, A.G. and Appleton, A.M. (1997) ‘Mainstreaming gender into the classroom: Cases from contemporary Europe’, PS: Political Science and Politics 30(2): 194–195.

    Google Scholar 

  • Murray, R. (2014) ‘Quotas for men: Reframing gender quotas as a means of improving representation for all’, American Political Science Review 108(3): 520–532.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rowley, C. and Shepherd, L.J. (2012) ‘Contemporary Politics: Using the ‘F’ Word and Teaching Gender in International Relations’, in C. Gormley-Heenan and S. Lightfoot (eds.) Teaching Politics and International Relations, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 146–161.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Sauer, B. (2016) ‘Austrian exceptionalism? Insights from a huge department in a small country’, European Political Science doi:10.1057/eps.2015.81.

  • Scharff, C. (2012) Repudiating Feminism: Young Women in a Neoliberal World, Surrey: Ashgate.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scott, J. (ed.) (1994) Power: Critical Concepts, New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shepherd, L. (2010) Gender Matters in Global Politics: A Feminist Introduction to International Relations, New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, N. and Lee, D. (2015) ‘What’s queer about political science?’ The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 17(1): 49–63.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Squires, J. (2000) Gender in Political Theory, Cambridge: Polity Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tickner, A.J. (1997) ‘You just don’t understand: Troubled engagements between feminists and IR theorists’, International Studies Quarterly 41(4): 611–632.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walby, S. (2011) The Future of Feminism, London: Polity Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Waylen, G., Celis, K., Kantola, J. and Weldon, S.L. (eds.) (2013) The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Williams, H., Bates, S., Jenkins, L., Luke, D. and Rogers, K. (2015) ‘Gender and journal authorship: An assessment of articles published by women in three top British political science and international relations journals’, European Political Science 14(1): 116–130.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Youngs, G. (2004) ‘Feminist international relations: A contradiction in terms? Or: Why women and gender are essential to understand the world ‘we’ live’, International Affairs 13(3): 193–209.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zalewski, M. (2007) ‘Do we understand each other yet? Troubling feminist encounters with(in) international relations’, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 9(2): 302–312.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This symposium is based on the panel ‘Gender in Political Science Education’ organized by the authors at the ECPR General Conference in Glasgow (2014); the authors acknowledge Kelly Kollman for acting as a discussant. They thank the anomyous reviewer for the valuable comments on an earlier version of this introduction. Liza Mügge’s work was supported by a Veni grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research [016.145.022]. She also thanks the Harvard Kennedy School Women & Public Policy Programme for hosting her as fellow (2014–2015) and Jane Mansbridge for the inspiring exchanges on gender mainstreaming the political science curricula on both sides of the Atlantic.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to liza mügge.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

mügge, l., evans, e. & engeli, i. introduction: gender in european political science education – taking stock and future directions. Eur Polit Sci 15, 281–291 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1057/eps.2015.72

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/eps.2015.72

Keywords

  • political science
  • teaching and learning
  • gender
  • feminism
  • political science associations