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Gender Quotas and Political Ambition: Evidence From Germany
Unformatted Document Text:  15 had mixed findings, with some authors finding a gendered political ambition gap while others do not (Carroll 1985, Gerzog 2002, Bledsoe and Herring 1990, Flammang 1997, Lawless and Theriault 2006, Thomas, Herrick and Braunstein 2002). All three measures of ambition were included in my survey of German politicians. Depending on which measure of ambition is used, however, the survey found different relationships between gender and political ambition in Germany. Below I discuss the first two of these measures – the third is discussed in the Appendix. Political Ambition in Practice In the five states in which the survey was conducted, there are a total of eight possible elective offices for which ambitious candidates can campaign. Five of these offices occur at the local, or sub-state level. The lowest level local elective office in all German states is the town or city council (called Gemeinderat or Stadtrat depending on the size of the community). In Bavaria and Nordrhein-Westfalen, local mayors (Bürgermeister) are directly elected as well. Outside of the city states Hamburg and Bremen, states are divided into counties and there are county councils for which ambitious politicians can campaign (Kreistag). In Bavaria the county mayor (Landrat) is directly elected. Bavaria also has an additional level of government between the county and the state called the district and politicians can be elected to the district council (Bezirkstag). In addition there are three higher political offices for which Germans can run; I refer to these as “global” offices. Every German state has a state parliament (usually called the Landtag); German politicians can also be elected to the federal parliament (Bundestag), and finally, they can run for the European Parliament as well.

Authors: Davidson-Schmich, Louise.
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15
had mixed findings, with some authors finding a gendered political ambition gap while
others do not (Carroll 1985, Gerzog 2002, Bledsoe and Herring 1990, Flammang 1997,
Lawless and Theriault 2006, Thomas, Herrick and Braunstein 2002).
All three measures of ambition were included in my survey of German politicians.
Depending on which measure of ambition is used, however, the survey found different
relationships between gender and political ambition in Germany. Below I discuss the first
two of these measures – the third is discussed in the Appendix.
Political Ambition in Practice
In the five states in which the survey was conducted, there are a total of eight possible
elective offices for which ambitious candidates can campaign. Five of these offices occur
at the local, or sub-state level. The lowest level local elective office in all German states
is the town or city council (called Gemeinderat or Stadtrat depending on the size of the
community). In Bavaria and Nordrhein-Westfalen, local mayors (Bürgermeister) are
directly elected as well. Outside of the city states Hamburg and Bremen, states are
divided into counties and there are county councils for which ambitious politicians can
campaign (Kreistag). In Bavaria the county mayor (Landrat) is directly elected. Bavaria
also has an additional level of government between the county and the state called the
district and politicians can be elected to the district council (Bezirkstag).
In addition there are three higher political offices for which Germans can run; I
refer to these as “global” offices. Every German state has a state parliament (usually
called the Landtag); German politicians can also be elected to the federal parliament
(Bundestag), and finally, they can run for the European Parliament as well.


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