IPSA gender and diversity monitoring report 2017

By Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Marian Sawer and Mathieu St-Laurent


This survey was conducted by IPSA during late 2017 and early 2018. Of the 55 national political science associations (PSAs), that are affiliated to IPSA, responses were received from 33. Most provided answers to all of the survey questions concerning the breakdown of membership along gender lines and leadership positions taken in relation to initiatives promoting equal opportunity. The results of this third survey will be presented at the 2018 IPSA World Congress in Brisbane.

The 2017 survey asked questions pertaining to gender balance in relation to membership, leadership positions in the PSA, conference participation, and where relevant, in the editorships of journals published through PSAs. 

Information was also sought on whether PSAs had a women’s caucus, a specialist group devoted to the research study of gender and politics, or other working groups pertaining to gender and the profession. Additionally, the 2017 survey sought to uncover practices concerning the promotion of equal opportunities for both women and men. 

The 2017 survey further asked whether information was collected on religion, race/ethnicity, language and where pertinent, Indigeneity (since not all PSAs defined their country as having Indigenous peoples). The survey probed whether PSAs had policies or standing committees dealing with these forms of diversity, and what they viewed as successful practices for promoting equity in relation to these forms of diversity.

Survey responses overall show unevenness, as in some countries issues relating to gender and other forms of diversity have yet to be addressed; moreover, the national collection of information on members of the association/discipline is also uneven. The size of association varies greatly, ranging from 45 (Croatian and Tunisian PSAs) to 10,595 (American PSA). 

Interestingly, we also observe that national PSAs that have undertaken explicit measures in relation to women are more likely to undertake initiatives for other groups, suggesting that attention to gender equity creates a climate in which attention to diversity and equal opportunities expands for political scientists. This finding may serve to stimulate reflection and discussion of what appear to be expanding and reverberating benefits to ensuring that women and other historically marginalized groups are fully included in the profession.

Report at the IPSA website.


Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute