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Department of Comparative Politics

Money Talks is a research project that critically examines the nexus between money and political recruitment. Its main focus is how different kinds of electoral financing schemes, both gendered and neutral, affect the nomination process within political parties. During the last decade several governments and non-governmental organizations, in advanced and emerging democracies, have experimented with different financing schemes that target gender balance in the nomination process.

Money is assumingly one of the greatest barriers to women in the political recruitment process. The financial disadvantage of women is expected to constitute an obstacle for women’s entry into politics everywhere and especially in developing countries where women’s socio-economic status is disproportionately low relative to men’s. This line of reasoning has caused a global upswing in financial schemes targeting women candidates, although the scholarship on women’s representation has not followed suit.

The research team will build a dataset on gendered electoral financing, conduct field studies of recruitment processes in the UK, France, Malawi, Ghana and Kenya, as well as conducting an audience study in Malawi. The project aims to advance a new research frontier on non-quota measures to enhance women’s political representation, taking gendered electoral financing as point of inquiry.

Ragnhild Muriaas, Associate Professor at the Department of Comparative Politics, is the project leader. Project partners are Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Chancellor College, University of Malawi. Participants are Lars Svåsand (Department of Comparative Politics, UoB), Vibeke Wang (CMI), Rainbow Murray (QMUL), Happy Kayuni and Asiyati Chiweza (Chancellor College, University of Malawi). P