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Gender, Politics and Public Policy

Key information

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Module description

This module examines central topics in the study of gender politics and public policy. It deals with theoretical arguments and empirical evidence concerning the political representation of women and gender, and public policies promoting women’s interests and gender justice. The first part of this module covers issues such as women’s representation in political parties and social movements, women as voters, candidates, representatives and leaders. It also introduces students to theories and methods in comparative politics and public policy. The second part focuses on gender and public policies. It analyses the substantive representation of women and LGBTQ+ people. It explores gender equality, gender mainstreaming and a gender+ equality perspective in the formulation and implementation of public policy. It also discusses the gendered consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This module draws on examples from various world regions and time periods to analyse similarities and differences in gender politics and public policy around the world.

Assessment details

3,000 word essay (100% of module mark)

Educational aims & objectives

This course aims to:

  • introduce students to concepts and debates in the field of gender politics and public policy
  • develop their skills in systematic comparison and methodology that will add rigour to their research and help achieve valid and well-founded generalisations
  • explore gender politics as a dominant theme in the formulation of public policy
  • highlight the importance of conceptual and theoretical analyses
  • examine a number of feminist and gender equality policies such as gender quotas, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+-related policies and combating gender based violence and sexual harassment
  • equip students with a good knowledge of issues in comparative politics and comparative public policy examined from a gender perspective
  • provide students with a thorough understanding of political representation and public policies promoting women’s interests and gender justice
  • analyse the issue of gender politics and public policy in countries around the world. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

  • have an enhanced understanding of main debates in the field of gender politics and public policy
  • critically evaluate the impact of gender politics on the development and implementation of public policy
  • be able to approach the study of gender politics and public policy in a systematic, comparative and social-scientific way
  • examine key issues in gender politics and public policy in different countries around the world.
  • be able to apply different theoretical frameworks and analytical toolkits using case studies and focused comparison, compare and contrast gender issues, and reflect critically on the strengths and weaknesses of comparative analysis.

Teaching pattern

1-hour weekly lecture and 1-hour weekly seminar

Suggested reading list

  • Htun, M. and S. L. Weldon (2018) The Logics of Gender Justice: State Action on Women’s Rights Around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Kantola, J. and E. Lombardo (2017) Gender and Political Analysis. Palgrave: London
  • Krook, M. L. and Childs, S. (2010) Women, Gender, and Politics: A Reader. Oxford University Press.
  • Landman, T. and E. Carvalho (2017) Issues and Methods in Comparative Politics: An Introduction (4th Edition) London: Routledge
  • Lovenduski, J. (2005) Feminizing Politics. Cambridge: Polity Press
  • Reynolds, A. (2013) ‘Representation and Rights: The Impact of LGBT Legislators in Comparative Perspective’, American Political Science Review, Vol. 107, No. 2, May 2013.
Module description disclaimer

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Please note that the module descriptions above are related to the current academic year and are subject to change.