Financing Gender Equality

Budgets for Women's Policies in German and Austrian Länder

in German Politics and Society
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  • 1 Political Science, University of Vienna, Austria
  • | 2 European and International Studies, University of Washington, USA
  • | 3 Political Science, University of Vienna, Austria
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State budgets reflect political priorities, providing a measure of issue relevance over time and comparatively across states. This article offers the first analysis of Länder budgets for women's policy agencies (wpa) in Germany and Austria between 1991 and 2018. Comparing Länder wpa budgets provides insights into material allocations to, and the conditionality of, gender politics in Germany's strongly federalized state and Austria's weak federation. We find that German Länder budgeted for independent wpa earlier than Austrian Länder. However, with the advent of the 1999 Austrian coalition of Christian Democrats and the right-wing Freedom Party, which aimed to dismantle national-level gender policies, Austrian Länder investment in wpa grew to compensate for diminishing federal funds. The party constellation in power mattered more in Austria, but in both countries the parties in power were more important for wpa financing than the descriptive representation of women in Länder parliaments.

Contributor Notes

Ayse Dursun is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna. She teaches and researches topics including gender and politics, gender equality policies, social reproduction and care, intersectionality, social movements, and migration. She is a member of the steering committee of the ecpr (European Consortium for Political Research) Standing Group on Gender and Politics.

Sabine Lang is Professor of European and International Studies and Jean Monnet Chair at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Her research areas include the intersection of states and societies in national and transnational arenas of the European Union and the role of gender in politics with a focus on gendered political representation. She directs the Center for West European Studies, a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence at the University of Washington.

Birgit Sauer is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Vienna. Her research areas include governance and gender, gender relations and politics, theories of the state and institutions, right-wing populism and gender, migration and integration policies, and politics and emotions. She recently collaborated with international projects on media and populism (Pomped), populist backlash (Popback), cultures of rejection (cure), and migrant children transforming Europe (MiCREATE).