The contemporary women's movement has transformed North American
society. Change has been greatest in the realm of everyday life, but
feminism has also challenged the substance and practice of politics.
Feminists and Party Politics examines the effort to bring feminism into
the formal political arena through established political parties in
Canada and the United States.
Two major sets of questions lie at the heart of this inquiry. First,
how have movement organizations approached partisan and electoral
politics? To what extent have they tried to change parties? What
factors have shaped their approaches? Second, how have parties
themselves responded to the mobilization of feminism? Have they taken
steps to include women in elite cadres? Have they either adopted any of
the policy stances advocated by feminist organizations or instead come
to define themselves in opposition to feminism?
Lisa Young explores these questions through meticulous research
based on numerous interviews with feminist and partisan activists,
archival and documentary material, and analysis of attitudinal surveys
of political elites. She concludes that although the effort of North
American feminists to transform political parties over the past thirty
years cannot be judged entirely a success, it has not been a failure.
By bringing women into the political arena on something beginning to
approach an equal footing, feminists have begun to realize liberal
democracy's promise of equal citizenship for women.
Lisa Young is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary and co-author of Rebuilding Canadian Party Politics (UBC Press, 2000).
Figures and Tables Abbreviations Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Theorizing Feminist Strategy and Party Responsiveness 2. Partisan Engagement: American Feminists and Party Politics 3. Power Is Not Electoral: Canadian Feminists and Party Politics 4. Polarization: American Parties Respond 5. Moderate Endorsement: Canadian Parties Respond 6. Can Feminists Transform Party Politics? Appendix: Data Sets and Scales Notes References Index