Gender Quotas and Ethnic Minority Representation: Swedish Evidence from a Longitudinal Mixed Methods Study

Reprint No. 2015:38

Author(s): Olle Folke, Lenita Freidenvall and Johanna RickneYear: 2015 Title: Politics & Gender Volume (No.): 11 (2) Pages: 345–381
Online article (restrictions may apply)

In this paper, we study the ways in which affirmative action for one political minority, gender quotas, impact on intersectional representation. In a quantitative analysis of detailed panel data from 285 Swedish municipal assemblies, the numerical impact of a zipper placement mandate in Sweden's largest political party, the Social Democratic Party, is analyzed. No evidence that this quota helped, or hindered, the intersectional representation of men or women is found in the short run, but it is found that a weak numerical impact may exist in the long run. A qualitative analysis of party records and interviews with key actors sheds further light on these results. Differences in the norms of representation for women and polyethnic minorities, coupled with weak organizational and practical constraints for formulating policies for the latter, appear to be likely explanations.

Folke, Olle, Lenita Freidenvall and Johanna Rickne (2015), "Gender Quotas and Ethnic Minority Representation: Swedish Evidence from a Longitudinal Mixed Methods Study". Politics & Gender 11(2), 345–381.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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