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Dispersed Democratic LeadershipOrigins, Dynamics, and Implications$
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John Kane, Haig Patapan, and Paul 't Hart

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562992

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562992.001.0001

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Incomplete Empowerment: Female Cabinet Ministers in Anglo-American Systems

Incomplete Empowerment: Female Cabinet Ministers in Anglo-American Systems

(p.37) Chapter 3 Incomplete Empowerment: Female Cabinet Ministers in Anglo-American Systems
Dispersed Democratic Leadership

Patricia Lee Sykes

Oxford University Press

Leadership dispersal can provide important opportunities for marginalized sectors to secure representation but it can also challenge political minorities. The success of women's movements resulted in more cabinet posts being available for women and this was especially so during the late 20th century when a ‘Britonnic network’ of reformers linked women's movements from far-reaching destinations including Pacific and the Atlantic. The phenomenal success of women's movement constituted a broader democratic dynamic that contributed to leadership dispersal but at the same time the ability of female ministers has been restricted by other aspects of political development. Their participation in public policy processes and creation were less significant than the descriptive and symbolic representation of women in cabinet posts. The experience of female cabinet ministers serves to remind that leadership takes forms of gender-specific institutions and ideas.

Keywords:   female cabinet ministers, political minorities, Britonnic network, social conservatism, United Kingdom, women's movement, leadership dispersal, leadership

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