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Title: Their Lordships divided? : the representation of women in the transitional House of Lords 1999-2009
Author: Eason, Christina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 3519
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis set out to discern how women's representation, as a multi-faceted concept and process, plays out in the context of the House of Lords. The primary motivation of this inquiry concerned the reality that women are persistently under-represented in political chambers worldwide. Beyond this, scholarship has overlooked the site of the House of Lords despite significant advances made in women's presence that facilitate closer analysis. This is also compounded by the status of the chamber itself: in its 'transitional' phase post the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999 the chamber is suggested to act with greater legitimacy and effectiveness. Finally concentration upon the representation of women in the transitional House of Lords is pertinent as the chamber remains in a state of flux and there is an opportunity to prioritise women's representation as a key plank of the reform agenda. Normative feminist interpretations of representation are the primary frameworks of analysis. Methodologically, this research inquiry synthesised and triangulated the use of quantitative and qualitative research techniques in order to unpack the processes and influences upon all dimensions of women's political representation in the House of Lords. This helped to present a sufficiently nuanced analysis. There have been obvious attempts to numerically feminise the chamber, although there are systemic de facto and de jure reserved seats for men in the chamber which guard against radical improvements in women's descriptive presence. Women peers undertake important roles and the House of Lords maintains a culture and institutional norms that are befitting for women and feminised styles of politics which is positive for the symbolic representation of women. Finally, women peers actively seek to represent women through the agenda-setting features of the Lords, although the way this is manifested is mediated by political affiliation. The opportunities to substantively represent women through the legislative features of the House of Lords are narrower, although both male and female peers have successfully influenced legislative output to act for women.
Supervisor: Russell, Andrew; Gains, Francesca; Annesley, Claire Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: women ; representation ; House of Lords ; Second Chambers ; Mixed Methods