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The Effects of Divided Government on Women's Organizations' Political Activity in Developed Democracies

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Date Issued:
2014
Abstract/Description:
This study examines the relationship between divided government and women's organizations' political activity. In the literature divided government is associated with political openness leading to a decline in the repression of alternative political views and increased organizational activity. In this thesis I hypothesize that divided government is related to increased participation in political activity by women's organizations. Political activity is expected to increase during periods of divided government due to increased opportunities to influence formal government as political parties and elected officials compete for public support.This study analyzes political activity by organizations associated with the women's movement in two developed democracies, the United States and Ireland during periods of (1) divided government and (2) periods of unified government in each country. This study focuses on activity revolving around the issues of reproductive rights and violence against women, two of the most salient issues to the women's movement. Organizational activity includes participation in protests, letter writing campaigns to political elites, and the endorsement of political candidates or parties by the National Organization for Women (NOW) and The Third Wave Foundation in the United States, and The National Women's Council of Ireland and The Irish Feminist Network in the Republic of Ireland. This study examines organizational activity in two cases of unified government controlling for partisanship of the executive, and one case of divided government in each country case.The findings of this study support the hypothesis that divided government is related to an increase in political activity by women's organizations in the United States. However, more research is needed to address alternative explanations for the level of political activity of women's organizations during periods of unified government. In addition, more research is needed to address explanations of political activity of women's organizations in Ireland.
Title: The Effects of Divided Government on Women's Organizations' Political Activity in Developed Democracies.
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Name(s): Wilson, Alexandria, Author
Kinsey, Barbara, Committee Chair
Hamann, Kerstin, Committee CoChair
Santana, Maria, Committee CoChair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study examines the relationship between divided government and women's organizations' political activity. In the literature divided government is associated with political openness leading to a decline in the repression of alternative political views and increased organizational activity. In this thesis I hypothesize that divided government is related to increased participation in political activity by women's organizations. Political activity is expected to increase during periods of divided government due to increased opportunities to influence formal government as political parties and elected officials compete for public support.This study analyzes political activity by organizations associated with the women's movement in two developed democracies, the United States and Ireland during periods of (1) divided government and (2) periods of unified government in each country. This study focuses on activity revolving around the issues of reproductive rights and violence against women, two of the most salient issues to the women's movement. Organizational activity includes participation in protests, letter writing campaigns to political elites, and the endorsement of political candidates or parties by the National Organization for Women (NOW) and The Third Wave Foundation in the United States, and The National Women's Council of Ireland and The Irish Feminist Network in the Republic of Ireland. This study examines organizational activity in two cases of unified government controlling for partisanship of the executive, and one case of divided government in each country case.The findings of this study support the hypothesis that divided government is related to an increase in political activity by women's organizations in the United States. However, more research is needed to address alternative explanations for the level of political activity of women's organizations during periods of unified government. In addition, more research is needed to address explanations of political activity of women's organizations in Ireland.
Identifier: CFE0005559 (IID), ucf:50293 (fedora)
Note(s): 2014-12-01
M.A.
Sciences, Political Science
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Democratic Institutions -- Women's Movements -- Political Opportunity Theory -- Ireland -- United States
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0005559
Restrictions on Access: public 2014-12-15
Host Institution: UCF

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