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Faculty of Economics

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Aidt, T. S.

Review of Forging the Franchise: The Political Origins of the Women's Vote

Journal of Economic Literature, forthcoming


Abstract: The last three years have seen several 100 years anniversaries of the women’s vote and today universal and equal suffrage is an inseparable part of democracy. Dawn Teele’s book Forging the Franchise is an inquiry into the reasons why male politicians elected by male voters gave women the right to vote in the United Kingdom, the USA and in France. It offers a theory of the political origins that focusses on electoral expediency and mobilization of women’s groups and it provides quantitative evidence from the three countries. It argues that women got the right to vote when the incumbents saw and needed an electoral advantage of expanding the right to vote to females. The book is of interest not only to those who want a deeper understanding of the historical process of women’s enfranchisement or who are interested in the political economy of democratization, but to everyone with a concern about gender inequality in politics today.

Author links: Toke Aidt  

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