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The purpose of this paper is to identify which factors affect the decision-making process a country undergoes when implementing gender quotas and why these factors might not influence the United States’ decision-making process. This research accomplishes this objective by analyzing the validity of Fallon, Swiss, and Viterna’s theory that the process of democratization, rather than the level of democracy, increases the likelihood of gender quotas. After examining how development, international incentives, women’s mobilization, and party strategy affect the establishment of gender quotas, this analysis supports Fallon, Swiss, and Viterna’s theory. The process of democratization does indeed typically act as a catalyst for legislative and constitutional quotas, and the level of democracy is not always a sure indicator of the emergence of a gender quota. The development process creates a fertile environment for gender quotas because the process of democracy is typically accompanied by more demands of representation, and international incentives encourage developing nations to implement gender quotas in order to establish good relations with powerful national and international actors. However, the implementation of party quotas is more heavily influenced by a party’s strategy to maximize its electoral success than the democratization process, and the impact of women’s mobilization in the implementation of gender quotas should not be minimized. A lack of developmental factors or party structure similar to other nations with gender quotas explains the lack of gender quotas in the United States.


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  • Subject
    • Political Science & International Affairs

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • LTC 382

  • Event date
    • 31 March 2015

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Beth Rauhaus