3:00 PM, 18 May 2021 - , Online

Is encouragement to run gendered? Evidence from 2019 Irish local election candidates.

Government and Politics Seminar


Dr Lisa Keenan (TCD)


Is encouragement to run gendered? Evidence from 2019 Irish local election candidates.


18 May, 15.00-16.00




Advocates for increasing women’s numeric representation have identified low demand by key actors such as political parties and voters as explanations for women’s relative absence from political life. Increasingly, however, as political parties implement reforms to tackle this issue of diversity and successive findings from advanced democracies suggest that voter bias may be a less important obstacle than has been previously assumed, scholars are turning their attention towards what is happening on the supply side. Understanding the reasons why women may be disinclined to put themselves forward, for example due differential access to resources, will enable us to develop initiatives that more effectively tackle the problem of underrepresentation. 


Using responses from an original dataset, the 2019 Irish Local Election Candidate Study, the paper investigates whether women are less likely to receive encouragement to run for office and whether, when they receive such encouragement, they do so from other sources. We find that women who run receive more encouragement prior to doing so, and they are also more likely to receive encouragement from particular kinds of sources. These findings suggest that encouragement to run is gendered, something that has potential implications for addressing the underrepresentation of women in politics.


Dr Theresa Reidy

Head of Department

Co-editor, International Political Science Review

Free - all welcome. Organised by Department of Government, UCC

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