Unfinished Transitions

Women and the Gendered Development of Democracy in Venezuela, 19361996

By (author) Elisabeth Friedman

Paperback - £33.95

Publication date:

15 September 2000

Length of book:

344 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271020242

This analysis of Venezuelan women’s organizing traces a sixty-year struggle to democratize political practice and represent women’s interests. It also helps to explain some of the “unfinished business” of Latin American democratization: why women have had difficulty participating in regimes they fought to restore, and how they seek inclusion. Friedman’s innovative theoretical approach uses gender analysis to explain the impact of the “political opportunity structure”—the institutions, actors, and discourses—of democratization on women’s participation.

“This is a major contribution to the field in several areas as it sits in the intersection of democratic transitions and consolidation, political institutions and civil society, social movements and gender politics. It takes a new approach to explaining the outcomes of women’s organizing efforts by using gender analysis to explain the impact of political institutions on women’s mobilization. That is, it focuses on gender relations, not just women’s actions. It presents new empirical evidence, offers an original interpretation, and advances theoretical development. Moreover, by placing Venezuela in comparative perspective, it allows us to push further in developing generalizations for both theory-building and policy recommendations.”

—Jennifer McCoy, Georgia State University