Women’s representation in Asian parliaments: a QCA approach

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18 Citations (Scopus)


This contribution examines the relationship between socioeconomic development, corruption, the level of democracy, and women’s parliamentary representation in contemporary Asia. Previous studies have argued economic development offers women new opportunities and resources to participate in politics. Despite some notable gains in gender equality through this process, prosperous Asian nations perform poorly compared to other world regions in terms of women’s parliamentary representation. Using an emerging method of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) on a dataset of 47 Asian nations, this research suggests the level of women’s presence in legislatures throughout Asia is a result of multiple configurations of conditions beyond simply one or two explanatory variables. In contrast to the expectations of modernisation theory, this paper finds that national economic variables do not account effectively for the level of women’s political representation in Asia. Furthermore, countries with predominantly Muslim populations can still elect more women if other conditions are supportive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-235
Number of pages23
JournalContemporary Politics
Issue number2
Early online date7 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


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