Non-Fiction Books:

Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State

A Comparative Study of State Feminism


Paperback / softback

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Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State
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This volume examines the impact of women's movements on the policy making processes determining abortion laws. It comprises the results of a cross-national research project on abortion politics in 11 democratic states between the 1960s and 2000. The authors have developed a comprehensive research design to examine whether or not women's policy agencies (institutional machineries intended to improve the status of women) have functioned as necessary and effective allies of women's movements in their efforts to gain access to power arenas and secure abortion laws that coincide with feminist goals. The impact of women's movements is assessed in terms of their success in increasing the democratic representation of women generally and movement organizations specifically. The findings constitute a rigorous application of comparative methodology to assess explanations from social movement and democratic theory pertaining to variations in state feminism and movement success. The book aims to show the extent to which states, through establishment of women's policy agencies, have assisted, opposed, or ignored the demands of movement activists for access to power and for feminist abortion policies. Researchers have examined these questions in policy debates over four decades in 11 advanced industrial democracies: Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States.
Release date NZ
November 1st, 2001
Edited by Dorothy McBride Stetson
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Oxford University Press
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