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About Us

The Feminism and Institutionalism International Network (FIIN) is a new group of feminist scholars from Europe, Australia and North America who have come together to explore the interplay between feminist approaches to gendered institutions and new institutional theory. Our aim is to use and synthesise insights from each approach in order to address issues of gender, politics, power and change. Feminist research - as well as political research more generally - has recently taken an institutionalist turn’, analyzing the broad political structures and processes that shape patterns of political stability and change. This approach adopts a wide definition of ‘institutions’ to include the formal features of political systems and also the more informal practices and norms that structure political life as if they were formal rules, promoting or foreclosing certain interpretations of particular problems or situations. To date, although there are common interests, there has been little interplay between 'mainstream' institutionalist scholars and feminist scholars working on institutions. We contend that there is potential for mutual benefit from a synthesis of these broad approaches. To explore the potential for mutual influence, the FIIN network seeks to: (1) take stock of the state of gender and institutions research; (2) survey what is being and what could be taken from institutional theory and approaches for work on gender and politics; and (3) explore whether there is a ‘feminist institutionalism' and, if so, of what it might comprise.