The contemporary women's movement has transformed North Americansociety. Change has been greatest in the realm of everyday life, butfeminism has also challenged the substance and practice of politics.Feminists and Party Politics examines the effort to bring feminism intothe formal political arena through established political parties inCanada and the United States.
Two major sets of questions lie at the heart of this inquiry. First,how have movement organizations approached partisan and electoralpolitics? To what extent have they tried to change parties? Whatfactors have shaped their approaches? Second, how have partiesthemselves responded to the mobilization of feminism? Have they takensteps to include women in elite cadres? Have they either adopted any ofthe policy stances advocated by feminist organizations or instead cometo define themselves in opposition to feminism?
Lisa Young explores these questions through meticulous researchbased on numerous interviews with feminist and partisan activists,archival and documentary material, and analysis of attitudinal surveysof political elites. She concludes that although the effort of NorthAmerican feminists to transform political parties over the past thirtyyears cannot be judged entirely a success, it has not been a failure.By bringing women into the political arena on something beginning toapproach an equal footing, feminists have begun to realize liberaldemocracy's promise of equal citizenship for women.
Lisa Young is an assistant professor in the Departmentof Political Science at the University of Calgary and co-author ofRebuilding 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