Policy advocacy in hard times: the impact of economic performance on gendering executive attention

Annesley, Claire, Engeli, Isabelle, Gains, Francesca and Resodihardjo, Sandra L (2014) Policy advocacy in hard times: the impact of economic performance on gendering executive attention. West European Politics, 37 (5). pp. 886-902. ISSN 0140-2382

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Abstract

Securing executive attention for new policy demands is notoriously difficult as governmental agendas are crowded by established or ‘core’ policy issues. This article investigates whether it is harder for new and costly policy issues to reach the government agenda when the economy is performing badly. We examine whether, and the extent to which, costly gender equality issues regarding women’s access to the labour market, equal treatment at work and care activities, are more likely to achieve executive attention when the economy is performing well. Using the Comparative Policy Agendas database, we conduct a systematic, quantitative analysis of when and why policies promoting sex equality in the division of labour reach executive agendas. Our findings confirm that advocacy for costly gender equality measures is easier to make in times of economic growth. We also find that female representation in parliament strengthens advocacy for executive attention and reduces friction on policy agenda change.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: H Social Sciences
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Depositing User: Claire Annesley
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2015 08:55
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2016 02:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/53344

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