Working papers

1. "Gendering Coalitional Presidentialism" with Pedro dos Santos and Kristin N. Wylie 

 

Coalitional presidentialism (CP) is a power-sharing strategy deployed in multiparty presidentialist democracies that entails the distribution of cabinet positions to coalition partners to facilitate governability. Scholarship on CP has been particularly insightful for the Brazilian case, which has a highly fragmented party system, making “minority presidents” with multiparty cabinets the norm. This model of governance is becoming increasingly common worldwide—gaining growing scholarly interest. The consequences of CP for women’s cabinet representation, however, have received scant attention. In this article, we employ a Feminist Institutionalist framework to provide a gendered analysis of the Brazilian experience with CP. Advancing an original dataset on the gender, political affiliation, and timing of appointment of all ministerial appointments (N=597) during the mandates of eight presidents (1985-2019), we show that CP generally restricts women’s access to cabinet seats, with coalition parties rarely advancing women to fill portfolios allocated to them by the president. 

 

2. "The Presidenta Effect: Perceptions of Women in Politics in Post-impeachment Brazil" with Anna Petherick

Not long ago, scholars frequently pointed to the elections of female presidents in Latin America as a sign that traditional biases against women in politics were eroding in the region. In the period since, various events have suggested that the demonstration effects of these presidents may have not been entirely positive. If true, Latin America’s first presidentasmay have had the opposite effect on symbolic representation to the one anticipated. Yet this remains unknown. Rousseff’s impeachment in August 2016 provides an ideal scenario with which to explore this. Employing an original nationally-representative survey experiment (N=1,498), we find that recollecting Rousseff’s presidency and impeachment seems to confirm the tendency of Brazilian male voters to implicitly view women as unequipped to occupy political office. Rousseff’s perceived failures in office, however, reduces female voters’ positive implicit evaluations of female politicians, and alters their private—though not their public—explicit attitudes towards female politicians.