Masculinity and merit: Debunking myths of political leadership and COVID-19

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A reflection on the gender implications of COVID-19 hosted by The Feminist Institutionalism International Network (FIIN).

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FIIN webinar series: COVID-19 and Gender: Feminist Institutionalist Provocations

The Feminist Institutionalism International Network (FIIN) is running a series of webinars to reflect on the gender implications of COVID-19. The series will discuss the usefulness of feminist institutionalist concepts and methods for understanding shifts in gender rules, practices and outcomes due to the pandemic.

This webinar, Masculinity and merit, will be the third in the series.

Webinar 3 – Masculinity and merit: Debunking myths of political leadership in the pandemic age

Tues 8 Sept: 2.30am New Delhi / 5am Beijing / 7am Australia EST / 9am NZ. Mon 7 Sept: 2pm USA West Coast / 10pm London / 11pm Cape Town. Calculate your local time here.

During COVID a significant amount of attention has been placed on political leaders, trying to link their gender to their approach to and success at managing the response to the pandemic. Have women really been better at navigating this crisis because they are women: maternal, more caring, collaborative and decisive rather than campaigning? Or is it because this is a health crisis rather than an economic or security crisis? Or perhaps it has more to do with the fact that women are more likely to become leaders in countries that are already institutionally secure and well governed and therefore predisposed to managing such a crisis?

This webinar will unpack these issues from an FI perspective. In FI we acknowledge that there are three dimensions to gender and institutions: rules about gender (webinar 1), gendered consequences of rules (webinar 2) and that there are also gendered actors working with the rules (this webinar 3). Rules are made, enforced and sanctioned by actors who themselves identify with a particular gender and also have gendered expectations imposed on them – the gendered logic of appropriateness. Does this FI approach to gender and leadership offer different insights into why Merkel, Ardern, Trump and Bolsonaro have acted the way they have during COVID-19, which created the brand new institution of quarantine?

Moderator:

Fiona Buckley is a lecturer in the Department of Government and Politics, University College Cork (UCC), Ireland specialising in gender politics. Fiona’s research is largely focused on gender politics, in particular gender and cabinet government, and gender quotas, but she also publishes on Irish politics, electoral integrity and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Presenters:

Claire Annesley is Dean of Arts and Social Sciences and Professor of Politics at UNSW. She is co-author of Cabinets, Ministers and Gender (OUP 2019), a feminist institutionalist study of ministerial recruitment across seven democracies.

Pedro A. G. dos Santos is Associate Professor of Political Science at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota. He has two main areas of research in Brazilian politics: women’s representation in the legislative and executive, and the rise of evangelical politicians in the country. He has published various book chapters as well as journal articles in Latin American Politics and Society, Politics & Gender, and Opinião Pública. His co-authored book Women’s Empowerment and Disempowerment in Brazil: The Rise and Fall of Dilma Rousseff is forthcoming.

Sabine Lang is Professor of International and European Politics at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies of the University of Washington. She directs the Center for West European Studies, the EU/Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, and the Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies at UW. Her research centers on gender politics and comparative politics with an emphasis on political representation, NGOs and social movements.

Jennifer Curtin is Professor of Politics and Director of the Public Policy Institute at the University of Auckland. Her research explores the range of institutional venues utilised by feminist actors, whether they be bureaucrats, activists or political leaders, to advance policy change. Her work is comparative and New Zealand focused, and she writes for both scholarly and media outlets.

Contact:

To discuss your access requirements, please email: humanrights@unsw.edu.au

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