Making Decentralization Work for Women: The Electability and Representation of Women in Local Governments

  • Córdova, Abby (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The third wave of democratization resulted in greater autonomy and more responsibilities for local governments in the developing world. One of the expectations was that decentralization reforms would bring opportunities to improve the political representation of historically marginalized populations, including women. In this book project, we seek to identify the challenges that Latin American women still face to be elected to office and influence public policy at the local level. We argue that the prevalence of gender stereotypes undermines women’s representation in local governments, particularly when women are members of an opposition party. To test our theory, we rely on qualitative and quantitative data. More specifically, we will use data from an original multi-year elite survey carried out among 1000 elected council members across 101 municipalities in El Salvador, in-depth interviews with party leaders and council members, content analysis of council meetings, and electoral data from more than 5,000 municipalities across 22 Latin American countries. A Centennial Center Research Grant will make it possible to increase the number of interviews we will carry out in the third wave of the elite survey, allowing us to analyze the survey experiments we designed to test our theory with a higher degree of statistical precision.
Effective start/end date2/14/189/30/19


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