Chapter 1 provides a brief overview of the central theory of this book: women’s political representation depends in part on whether men in power see a benefit to associating their political party or government with women. It begins with a brief discussion of the existing literature on women’s representation to establish the foundations of what is already known about women’s path to political office. It then engages the literature on the rational incentives that drive political behavior and goes on to suggest that the self-interested motivations of gate-keepers should be considered in any analysis of women’s descriptive representation. Finally, it presents a synopsis of the following chapters of the book and briefly describes the theoretical contributions and empirical examinations presented to culminate in a new perspective on women’s descriptive representation.
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