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date: 28 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on women’s activism within government, particularly in national and state legislatures, as well as in the government bureaucracies at the national and state level. It begins by defining women’s activism in these arenas, and then discusses whether the type of activism of these groups fits with the understanding of activism in the social movement literature, drawing connections to issues of substantive and descriptive representation. A second section introduces the different tactics and strategies that these insider activists might utilize. The chapter then examines insider activists within the bureaucracies and legislatures separately, summarizing current understandings of insider activism in each branch and highlighting how institutional forms might influence their activism. We also analyze various definitions of women insider activists in detail, discussing how definitional differences might lead to different conclusions about the roles these women play. Finally, the chapter points to some directions for future research.

Keywords: activism, social movement, government, bureaucracy, women

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