Department of Political Science


POLS0022 Gender and Politics

Course Code: POLS0022

Course Tutor: Dr Maki Kimura (Department of Political Science)

Length: One term (Spring Term)

Teaching: 20 contact hours

Assessment: 2000 word essay (40%), 2000 word essay (60%)

Credits: 15 credits, 4 (US), 7.5 (ECTS) 

Module Level: L6 (Advanced)

Gender, sexuality, feminism, masculinity, political practice and institution.

About this course

The course provides an overview of key topics in politics and gender. In weeks one and two, the history of feminism and main feminist and gender theories (including those on masculinity, sexuality and intersectionality) are explored. The rest of the first part of the course looks at the impact of gender on ‘political’ activities and how to develop gender sensitive public policies mainly in national contexts. It considers what constitutes ‘political’ activities, how women’s interests are represented, whether the gender of our political representatives matters, in what ways that political institutions are gendered.  It also explores the role of feminist activism and civil society in promoting gender equality. The second part of the course has a more global focus considering; the feminist concept of security, transnational migration, the impact of gender in armed conflicts, women, sexuality and human rights, and the role of gender in international development. As women are often the underrepresented sex in a variety of political processes, we will therefore regularly discuss the issue of women’s equality. However, throughout the course we will seek to focus on ‘gender’ rather than on ‘women’ and explore how various differences such as gender, class, ethnicity, nationality and sexuality intersect to create inequalities. This also includes the study of sexuality, masculinity and male dominance in political institutions. Various materials (newspaper articles, radio programmes, films etc.) will be used in the course to facilitate discussion on current issues in gender and politics. Each class has a lecture followed by a seminar and participation in discussion is required.

Please note that POLS0022 Gender and Politics is an advanced Political Science module. Its delivery is based on the assumption that you have some familiarity with key issues and basic concepts central to the field. If this is not the case, you may find additional background reading necessary to appropriately engage with the course material. The following texts are recommended:

* Bryson, V. (2016). Feminist political theory: An introduction (3rd ed.) Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

* Disch, L., & Hawkesworth, M. (eds.) (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

* Krook, M. L. and Childs, S. (eds.) (2013) Women, Gender, and Politics: A Reader. Oxford: Oxford Press

* Robinson, V., & Richardson, D. (2015). Introducing Gender and Women's studies (4th ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

* Shepherd, L. (ed.) (2015). Gender Matters in Global Politics: A feminist introduction to international relations (2nd ed.). London: Routledge

* Steans, J. (2013). Gender and International Relations: Theory, practice, policy (3rd ed.) Cambridge: Polity.

* Waylen, G., Karen, C., Kantola, J. and Weldon, L. (eds.) (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics (Oxford handbooks Y). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

You may also want to look at the POLS7008 (now POLS0022) reading list from last year (accessible via the UCL Library) to get an idea of the readings and topics covered in the module itself.