Time Slot: 
Wednesday 23rd March 11:00 - 12:30
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr Jennifer Thomson (University of Bath)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Meryl Kenny (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr Peter Allen (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Professor Fiona Mackay (University of Edinburgh)
  • Professor Georgina Waylen (University of Manchester )
  • Professor Francesca Gains (University of Manchester)

This roundtable, organized by the PSA Women and Politics Group, brings together feminist scholars employing gendered institutional analysis under the broad umbrella of the Feminism and Institutionalism International Network (, which seeks to expose the ways in which political institutions are gendered, and the processes by which particular gendered patterns of power are replicated or challenged. Challenging and transforming political institutions has long been recognized as central to feminist projects of change.  Existing institutions  - the global and local “rules of the game” - can be reformed or new institutions created.  We now have a wealth of case studies about efforts to insert new actors, new rules and new ideas into old institutions and emerging work integrating gender concerns into wider institutional design processes.  The focus of this roundtable is to take stock of the methods we use to capture the work that gender and institutions do: what are the limits and promise of the methods we have used to date? How do we identify gender bias in the rules, practices and norms of institutions of politics and governance? How do we operationalise concepts such as gender regimes, informal institutions, hegemonic masculinity, gendered knowledge, and gendered logics of appropriateness etc.? What other methods do we need to excavate, understand and explain gendered institutions, their impacts – and their potential for transformation? Participants will discuss strategies that have worked and not worked in their research on international institutions (Mackay), political parties (Kenny),  legislatures (Allen), executives (Waylen), and Police and Crime Commissioners (Gains and Lowndes), among others; and methods to be discussed include: process -tracing, ethnographic and observational analysis, comparative and single case studies, interviews, narrative analysis, behavioural and mixed methods.