Welcome to the Political Women and Executive Representation Research Network
Political Women and Executive Representation (PoWER) is an international research group dedicated to understanding patterns of women’s representation in the executive branch. Our main goal is to explain when, why, and how women are recruited to political executives in parliamentary and presidential democracies. This research is timely because of increased societal expectations that women be represented in core political institutions and concerns about the concentration of power in the office of the chief executive. Our research aims to uncover the role of institutions, norms, and practices that either facilitate or obstruct women’s representation in the executive branch of government.

Our main research objectives are:

  • to create dialogue between gender and politics researchers and executive branch scholars
  • to develop a theoretical framework to conceptualize gendered access to the executive branch
  • to identify the structural and institutional dimensions of cabinet appointments
  • to develop empirical research contributions that combine large-N and contextualized case study methods

The research group was created by Claire Annesley (University of Manchester), Karen Beckwith (Case Western Reserve University), Isabelle Engeli (University of Ottawa), and Susan Franceschet (University of Calgary) at the ECPR Research Sessions at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) held in May 2011.

The research group was awarded the 2011 Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics.