Understanding institutional change: a gender perspective

There have been big changes in the position of women, but many institutions are still male-dominated.

About us

This European Research Council-funded research programme (2012 to 2017) aimed to improve understanding of the gender dynamics of institutional change and reform.

Understanding how institutions work is a priority for all, whether they are academics, politicians or policy-makers. It is particularly important if we want to change institutions or understand why attempts to reform institutions have not worked. It is also significant for gender equity.

There have been big changes in recent years in the position of women. But many institutions – such as the judiciary, parliaments and governments – are still male-dominated, despite efforts to change this situation. This project has examined some of these efforts to change institutions and has tried to explain their outcomes.

Project team

Manchester team

  • Prof Georgina Waylen - Principal Investigator and Professor Politics
  • Prof Francesca Gains - Co-investigator and Professor of Public Policy
  • Dr Faith Armitage - Research Associate
  • Leah Culhane - PhD Student
  • Lisa Jenkins - Project Coordinator
  • Dr Rachel Johnson - Research Associate
  • Dr Laura McLeod - Research Associate
  • Carmen Sepulveda - Research Associate

External members

UK advisory team

  • Prof Claire Annesley - Professor of Politics and Head of Politics (The University of Sussex)
  • Prof Sarah Childs - Professor of Politics and Gender (University of Bristol)
  • Prof Colin Hay - Professor of Political Analysis (University of Sheffield)
  • Prof Joni Lovenduski - Anniversary Professor of Politics (Birkbeck College)
  • Prof Paul Martin - Ethics Adviser and Professor of Sociology (University of Sheffield)
  • Prof Janet Newman - Emeritus Professor of Social Policy and Criminology (The Open University)
  • Prof Shirin Rai - Professor of Politics and International Studies (University of Warwick)

International advisory team

  • Prof Anne-Marie Goetz - Professor at the Center of Global Affairs (New York University)
  • Prof Shireen Hassim - Professor of Politics (University of Witwatersrand)
  • Prof James Mahoney - Professor of Sociology and Political Science (Northwestern University)
  • Prof Fionnuala Ni Aoláin - Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Transitional Justice Institute (the University of Ulster and Minnesota Law School)
  • Prof Marcela Rios Tobar - UNDP – Chile and Diego Portales
  • Prof Vivien Schmidt - Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration and Professor of Political Science (Boston University)
  • Prof Sven Steinmo - Professor of Public Policy and Political Economy (European University Institute)
  • Prof Kathleen Thelen - Ford Professor of Political Science (MIT)
  • Prof Mieke Verloo - Professor of Comparative Politics and Equality Issues (Radboud University, Nijmegen)

Contact us

If you have any questions about the research, contact:

Professor Georgina Waylen
Politics department
4th floor, Arthur Lewis Building
Oxford Road
M13 9PL

Email: georgina.waylen@manchester.ac.uk