module specification

GI6066 - Action and Identity: Gender and Political Participation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Action and Identity: Gender and Political Participation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Short essay and presentation (1000 words
Coursework 60%   Long essay (3000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

A politics grounded in interests other than the traditional geographic and class concern is increasingly prevalent, with sex/gender playing a growing role in political identity. On the one hand, women’s political participation has become an important issue internationally with increasing numbers of women elected to positions of leadership and heading governmental and non-governmental organisations. On the other hand, gendered issues and issues of gender have become increasingly political. Overtly: state intervention in reproduction and control of marriage and divorce as well as equality of treatment by and within state institutions continue to be of concern; covertly: conservative, xenophobic and neo-liberal austerity policies have gendered implications as traditional roles for men and women are re-asserted or assumed.
This module covers both theoretical and empirical approaches. It starts by considering the background to the enfranchisement of women and theories of equality and rights; moves on to  investigate political practices including elections, representation, policy-making and women’s movements; followed by in-depth discussion of particular issues including the feminisation of poverty, gender and democratisation; women and security, and gendered violence.

Module aims

To introduce students to issues of diversity, equality and minority rights
To broaden students’ knowledge of political practice (parties, elections, systems of government and law-making)
To add to students’ understanding of how international governmental and non-governmental organisations work
To introduce students to the concepts of gender and patriarchy, and feminist political and IR theories
To encourage students to develop informed criticisms of mainstream political and IR theories and practices


Women’s enfranchisement; equality and rights in practice ; Theories of sex equality and rights; Women in office: numbers, barriers and theories; Women and the EU: representation and policies; Women and the UN: representation and policies; Civil Society: women’s movements; The feminisation of poverty; gender and democratisation; women and security; Gendered violence

Learning and teaching

Students will attend a one-hour lecture and one hour seminar for 15 weeks and will be expected to undertake at least 4 hours private study per week. Lectures are interactive and seminars rely on students having undertaken reading and being prepared to participate actively by making presentations and joining in discussion. Some of the topics addressed are controversial and touch on personal and identity concerns; students are expected to leave preconception and prejudice at the door. The module uses blended learning, making extensive material available through weblearn including archive and international resources as well as lecture notes, feedback on assessment, and support for research and writing.

Learning outcomes

Understanding of a critical literature and theoretical position
Knowledge and understanding of feminism as a theory and practice
Deeper understanding of political institutions and practices
Appreciation of gendered social, political and economic roles
Ability to research, construct and present an argument orally and in written form

Assessment strategy

Short essay and presentation (1000 words) 40%; long essay (3000 words) 60%


Bryson, Valerie: Feminist Political Theory, Palgrave 2016
Sarah Childs: Women and British Party politics, 2010
Dahlrup, Drude, Women, Quotas and Politics, 2006
Enlow, Cynthia: Maneuvers: the international politics of militarising women’s lives, 2000
Fraser, Nancy: The Fortunes of Feminism, 2013
Krook and Childs: Women. Gender and Politics, 2010
Stokes, Wendy: Women in Contemporary Politics, Polity 2005
Tadros, Mariz, Women in Politics: Gender, Power and Development, 2014