Political Science | Public Law and Policy: Comparative Gender Policies
Y665 | 23399 | Robinson

This section meets with Y657 and G701

The course will examine discursive politics and social movement
practices to understand the conditions and processes that lead to
gender public policies.  While recognizing that public policies
affect all people, this course will focus on policies that either
directly or indirectly confront the way gender is constructed and
maintained.  Our primary focus will be on issues such as marriage
and civil unions (both heterosexual and same-sex), reproduction
(including abortion and reproductive technologies), family/ child
policies (including perhaps adoption), soldiering and citizenship
(including transgender considerations.)  One of our emphases will be
on comparing the discursive politics and political opportunity
structures across nations for the same set of issues.  Why does
discourse develop differently, what are the conditions leading to
different opportunity structures, and why are outcomes similar or

The first two-thirds of the seminar will focus on a core set of
readings, including both classics such as Skocpol’s  Protecting
Soldier and Mothers and Mansbridge,  Why We Lost the ERA, to new
studies such as Outshoorn, The Politics of Prostitution: Women's
Movements, Democratic States and the Globalization of Sex Commerce
(2004), Bernstein & Schaffner, Regulating Sex (2005) and  Mazur,
Theorizing  Feminist Policy (2006).   The last third of the semester
will provide an opportunity for students to explore other policy
areas not covered in the core readings. Readings will be drawn from
political science, gender studies, sociology, and policy studies
journals, books and edited volumes.

I have not completed the list of readings, as this is a new course
that I will work further on during the summer, but right now some
readings I am considering include :  J. Outshoorn, The Politics of
Prostitution: Women's Movements, Democratic States and the
Globalisation of Sex Commerce (Cambridge, 2004); D. McBride Stetson,
Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State: A
Comparative Study of State Feminism (Oxford, 2001); M. Htun, Sex and
the State: Abortion, Divorce and the Family under Latin American
Dictatorships and Democracies (Cambridge, 2003); Jane Mansbridge,
Why We Lost the ERA ( Chicago, 1986); T. Skocpol, Protecting
Soldiers and Mothers (Harvard 1992) , E. Bernstein and L. Schaffner,
Regulating Sex ( Routledge, 2004)  A. Mazur, Theorizing  Feminist
Policy (Oxford, 2006)