Gender inequality in deliberative participation

Christopher F. Karpowitz, Tali Mendelberg, Lee Shaker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations

Abstract

Can men and women have equal levels of voice and authority in deliberation or does deliberation exacerbate gender inequality? Does increasing women's descriptive representation in deliberation increase their voice and authority? We answer these questions and move beyond the debate by hypothesizing that the group's gender composition interacts with its decision rule to exacerbate or erase the inequalities. We test this hypothesis and various alternatives, using experimental data with many groups and links between individuals' attitudes and speech. We find a substantial gender gap in voice and authority, but as hypothesized, it disappears under unanimous rule and few women, or under majority rule and many women. Deliberative design can avoid inequality by fitting institutional procedure to the social context of the situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-547
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Volume106
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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