Contesting Politics: Women in Ireland, North and South

Authored by: Yvonne Galligan, Eilís Ward, and Rick Wilford (Editors)

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Political Transitions
Country: Ireland, Northern Ireland
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 1999
Citation: Galligan, Yvonne, Eilís Ward, and Rick Wilford (eds.). Contesting Politics: Women in Ireland, North and South. New York: Westview Press, 1999.

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Executive Summary

This book, for the first time anywhere, gathers the expertise of those researching women and politics in Ireland—both North and South—into a single, comprehensive and accessible textbook on the topic. Contributors are drawn from both academic and activist arenas to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to the subject. Contesting Politics begins by presenting current theoretical issues that inform much research on the topic. Contributions by historians locate the participation of women in aspects of Irish political life since the end of the nineteenth century, emphasizing the issues of suffragism and nationalism. The book then examines the central issues of women and the political parties and representation, the relationship between the women’s movement and community-based women’s groups in Ireland, and women’s participation in public bodies and the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition; it then moves to policy matters such as women and economic development and the evolution of “state feminism.” A comparative North/South data section looks at the impact of the “gender gap” on specific policy issues. Also examined is the impact of the European Union on women.Throughout, the book emphasizes analytical approaches to explaining the relationship between women and political activity in Ireland. In positing “politics” as a broadly defined activity that stretches well beyond the formal institutions of the political system, and in taking an all-Ireland approach, editors Yvonne Galligan, Eilís Ward, and Rick Wilford bring new depth and texture to the topic. While the main analytical tools used are drawn from the discipline of political science, the text will be invaluable in Women’s studies and Irish studies classrooms as well as within political science.