Why Democracy?

Cathrine Holst contributes a chapter on the relationship between gender democracy and gender equality in the EU in the Routledge volume States of Democracy.

States of Democracy: Gender and Politics in the European Union is edited by Yvonne Galligan and is the tenth volume in the book series Routledge Studies on Democratising Europe. The study was generated through participation in the EU-funded RECON project (2007-2011).

About the book

The multi-layered political system of the European Union offers a unique environment for the study of comparative democracy. Its policies seek to give effect to an agreed range of values, including that of gender equality. This book explores gender equality and democratic politics in Europe. It discusses how democratic politics engages with gender equality in the European Union and examines what happens when a core democratic value of the EU, equality between women and men, is given policy effect in supra-national and domestic level politics. It asks how embedded is this value in democratic politics and what degree of gender equality is expressed in this environment. The collection brings to light the gendered nature of democratic politics, offering a critical gaze on the workings of modern democracy in Europe.

Why democracy?

Each contributor traces the policy process around the 'Goods and Services Directive' to investigate the democratic process at national and European levels. The countries under scrutiny are Austria, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Spain, whereas Yvonne Galligan and Sara Clavero provide a study of EU-level decision-making on gender equality legislation.

'The case studies give insights into the immense variety in culture, history and politics of the Eastern, Central and Southern European countries', Cathrine Holst asserts in the introduction to her chapter. She has written the concluding chapter of the book, where she states that 'the studies prove wrong anyone who believes that the Europeanisation and harmonisation of law automatically means legal homogenisation and an end to national path dependencies'.

Holst concludes that the more integrated women are in public policy-making processes dealing with issues affecting their status in society (encapsulated in the term 'gender democracy'), the more likely it is that the outcome is responsive to their concerns.

Full info

Cathrine Holst
'Why Democracy? On the Relationship between Gender Democracy and Gender Equality in the European Union

In: States of Democracy: Gender and Politics in the European Union
Yvonne Galligan (ed.)

Routledge, 2014
ISBN: 9781138021655

Published Jan. 5, 2015 12:22 PM - Last modified Aug. 25, 2020 8:38 AM