Affirmative action measures and electoral candidates’ positioning in Zambia
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThe Journal of Modern African Studies. 2021, 59 (4), 507-533. 10.1017/S0022278X21000264
While the increase of women in elected office has received much scholarly attention, less attention has been paid to the dynamics of resisting gender quotas in countries that fail to adopt such measures despite regional and international pressure. We develop a context-sensitive typology of affirmative action measures that includes gender quotas and funding incentives and explore determinants of electoral candidates’ positioning in the context of Zambia. Using a sequential mixed-methods approach and unique data, we examine how candidates of different gender, party affiliation, and level of electoral success position themselves when asked to choose between different options. Intriguingly, electoral success and party allegiance – whether a candidate is affiliated with a current or former government party – are more important than gender. This finding is relevant for the debate on feminist democratic representation by showing that candidates are likely to have their more radical views muted when getting into position.