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Gender analysis in EU Political Economy

A new research agenda?

Aiming to bridge the gap between gender-sensitive and feminist research, and the mainstream of EU studies and political economy, this workshop addresses questions concerning gender parity in politics and gender analysis of policy and policy–making within the EU.

Many studies have addressed the political inclusion of women in the EU, but the role of women politicians in implementing gender-sensitive policies and the impact of strands of EU policy, other than social policy, in terms of enhancing and closing gender inequalities is still under-researched. Within the framework of NextGenerationEU, the EU became a sponsor of gender-sensitive policy toolkits, including gender budgeting and gender impact assessment. This has coincided with the advent of some more women in EU top jobs, despite significant representation gaps remaining at all levels.

This workshop pursues three main objectives: first, further the understanding of the dynamics affecting the representation of women in key decision-making positions within the EU. For instance, the timing of the recent appointments of women at the top of EU institutions could be seen as either a sign of irreversible progress in parity, or as a confirmation of the ‘glass cliff’ tendency to put women in power during times of downturn, when the chance of failure is more likely. A second objective is to gender the EU policymaking itself, considering differences across institutions and within them as well as learning from the comparison of success and failure in gender mainstreaming across policy areas. In this respect, we especially seek to learn from the experience of the pandemic response and recovery: whereas the 2008 financial crisis mainly hit a male labour market, many have defined the economic impact of COVID-19 a she-cession, i.e., a recession that has mainly affected women. In response, however, most resources of Next Generation EU went to domains characterised by male-intensive workforces such as energy, construction, infrastructures, and IT.

A last domain of interest is therefore the implementation of new tools and methodologies at the forefront of promoting gender equality in funding and investment programmes across all policy domains, such as gender-sensitive context analysis, impact assessment, auditing, and budgeting, vis-à-vis traditional gender-blind policies.

Key questions

- What explains trends in political leadership, positional power, and representation of women in the EU?

- What are the inter and intra-institutional politics of EU gender sensitive policy making?

- Are inclusive political leaderships catalysts for gender sensitive policies in the EU multilevel policy making?

- What are the drivers of success and failure of gender mainstreaming in the EU and what can we learn from pandemic responses and economic recovery policies?

- Expanding the EU toolkit for gender equality: what is the contribution of gender impact assessment and gender budgeting methodology?

- What is the state and future of ‘Gender Analysis in Political Economy’ and EU studies and how can we mainstream it within the discipline?

Co-Convenors

  • Portrait picture of Costanza Hermanin

    Costanza Hermanin

    Part-time Assistant Professor

    Visiting Fellow

    Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

  • Portrait picture of Matilde Ceron

    Matilde Ceron

    Postdoctoral researcher

    University of Salzburg


Page last updated on 07/12/2023

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