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The Politics of Women's Rights : Parties, Positions, and Change - Christina Wolbrecht

The Politics of Women's Rights

Parties, Positions, and Change

Paperback Published: 16th July 2000
ISBN: 9780691048574
Number Of Pages: 256

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Here Christina Wolbrecht boldly demonstrates how the Republican and Democratic parties have helped transform, and have been transformed by, American public debate and policy on women's rights. She begins by showing the evolution of the positions of both parties on women's rights over the past five decades. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Republicans were slightly more favorable than Democrats, but by the early 1980s, the parties had polarized sharply, with Democrats supporting, and Republicans opposing, such policies as the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion rights. Wolbrecht not only traces the development of this shift in the parties' relative positions--focusing on party platforms, the words and actions of presidents and presidential candidates, and the behavior of the parties' delegations in Congress--but also seeks to explain the realignment.

The author considers the politically charged developments that have contributed to a redefinition and expansion of the women's rights agenda since the 1960s--including legal changes, the emergence of the modern women's movement, and changes in patterns of employment, fertility, and marriage. Wolbrecht explores how party leaders reacted to these developments and adopted positions in ways that would help expand their party's coalition. Combined with changes in those coalitions--particularly the rise of social conservatism within the GOP and the affiliation of social movement groups with the Democratic party--the result was the polarization characterizing the parties' stances on women's rights today.

Industry Reviews

Co-Winner of the 2001 Leon Epstein Award, Political Organizations and Parties Section of the American Political Science Association "Informative and well-written ... engaging and impressive ... Furthermore, it is theoretically rich, drawing on a wide array of scholars and disciplines."--Shari Garber Bax, Perspectives on Political Science

List of Illustrationsp. ix
List of Tablesp. xi
List of Acronymsp. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Women's Rights and the American Partiesp. 3
Of Presidents and Platformsp. 23
Women's Rights in the House and Senatep. 73
Explaining Party Issue Realignmentp. 108
Equilibrium Disruption and Issue Redefinitionp. 134
Shifting Coalitions and Changing Elitesp. 181
The Politics of Women's Rightsp. 226
Appendixp. 239
Referencesp. 243
Indexp. 259
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691048574
ISBN-10: 0691048576
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 16th July 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.41