Is Women’s Political Representation Beneficial to Women’s Interests in Autocracies? Theory and Evidence from Post-Soviet Russia

Part of the Political Corruption and Governance book series (PCG)


Previous research has revealed a connection between increased women’s political representation (WPR) and responsiveness to women’s interests in democracies; however, our knowledge about this in non-democracies is practically non-existent. Building on the authoritarian regimes and on gender and informal institutions literatures, we theorize WPR effects in the context of autocratic regimes, explaining why the positive dynamics between WPR and women-friendly policy outcomes and outputs may be disrupted there. Employing an original dataset from 80 subnational political units in a large electoral autocracy (Russia), we find that larger numbers of women in regional legislatures are associated with higher rates of infant mortality, while the level of democracy moderates the relationship. The analysis reveals no association between higher numbers of women in senior bureaucratic posts and child mortality.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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