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Women and Politics in Latin America

  • ID: 2249233
  • Book
  • April 1999
  • Region: Latin America
  • 256 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This book provides a comprehensive view of women′s political participation in Latin America. Focusing on the latter half of the twentieth century, it examines five different arenas of action and debate: political institutions, workplaces, social movements, revolutions and feminisms. Nikki Craske explores the ways in which women have become more effective in the public arena as the context of politics has altered.

The author demonstrates how gender relations shape political institutions and practices, whilst simultaneously being shaped by them. Craske examines the moments when women′s action has challenged received ideas, and had a significant impact on the political life of Latin American nations. However, she also illustrated that while political spaces can be fashioned in moments of transition and crisis, these spaces are often diminished as ′normality′ resumes, and lasting gains are difficult to achieve. Women remain heavily under–represented in political life, despite their important role in popular movements against authoritarianism. Craske makes it clear that the economy is a substantial constraint on women′s political participation. As the Latin American economy undergoes radical restructuring, it has an impact both on women′s ability to participate and the state′s ability to respond.

This powerful book analyses the gains made since the 1950s, whilst scrutinizing the challenges and difficulties which still constrain women′s political participation.

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List of Tables.


1. Argument.

2. Women and Political Identity in Latin America.

3. Setting the Scene.

4. Formal Political Representation: Governments, Parties and Bureaucracies.

5. The Impact of Work on Political Identity.

6. Social Movements: Consumer and Human Rights Organizations.

7. Revolutionary Empowerment?.

8. Feminisms in Latin America.

9. Conclusions: Politics: An Ambivalent Experience.




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′In her wide–ranging survey,
Women and Politics in Latin America, Nikki Craske has combined a wealth of empirical detail with theoretical insight, to produce a book which will be essential reading on the subject.′
Maxine Molyneux, Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London

′Craske defines "politics" in a broad and inclusive sense and shows that, in spite of considerable difficulties and obstacles, there have been important shifts recently in gender relations and the nature of politics and political practice in Latin America. She tests and finds wanting many current assumptions about women in the Latin American political process, and makes a valuable contribution to the gendered politics debate by the use of empirical evidence from a range of situations in the region.′ Tessa Cubitt, Academic Development Centre, University of Portsmouth

′This is a comprehensive analysis of women′s role in politics in contemporary Latin America, drawing on first–hand fieldwork and wide–ranging secondary sources. Craske′s awareness of relevant theoretical discussions (centred on the complex politics of ′motherhood′), and sensitivity to the context of democratization and widespread neoliberal reform, makes it particularly valuable both for students of the region, and for comparative students of women′s participation in politics.′ Paul Cammack, Department of Government, University of Manchester

′There are many books which try to serve two audiences – the undergraduate and the academic – but few do so with such coherence, engagement, clarity and enthusiasm for the subject as Nikki Craske′s book. I used this text on a module last summer and all those who used it found it to be clear, comprehensive and fascinating, as I did ... Put it on the reading list, and save a copy for yourself.′ The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

′Craske′s aim, at root, is to re–evaluate the relation between women and politics in a period of apparent decline and dienchantment.′ Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

"Craske′s book provides a comprehensive overview of the scholarship on women′s political participation, including some of her own original research on Argentina, Chile and Mexico.(and).because it synthesizes the existing research on women′s participation, is appropriate not only for seasoned scholars of Latin American women and politics but also for graduate students and advanced undergraduates seeking broad knowledge of the subject." Patricia Hipsher, Oklahoma State University, Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs

"(an) interesting book" Jon Beasley–Murray, University of Aberdeen, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

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