School of Social and Political Science

Gender and politics


The Gender and Politics Research Group (GPRG), convened by Dr Meryl Kenny, Dr Claire Duncanson and Professor Fiona Mackay, brings together researchers across Politics and International Relations, the School of Social and Political Science, and beyond, all of whom use gender and feminist analyses in their research. The members of GPRG explore issues in relation to the broad themes of gender relations, power, identities, institutions, and change.

The group tweets as @genderpol and regularly posts on its blog Gender Politics at Edinburgh.

Research areas

Past and current research projects fall within three broad areas:

Gender and politics, including: 

  • gender and constitutional change in the United Kingdom
  • gender, political parties and political recruitment
  • international, European, and local approaches to gender mainstreaming and gender quotas

Gender and international relations, including :

  • military masculinities
  • international gender norm diffusion
  • conflict and post-conflict
  • political settlements
  • international organisations, particularly the UN

Gender and political theory, including:

  • feminist institutionalism
  • theories of institutional change
  • feminist ethics


As gender is a cross-cutting research theme, the group co-hosts events with other research groups in Politics and International Relations and beyond, as well organising various workshops, conferences, and seminars, and mentoring early career researchers. For details of our current seminar schedule or to sign up to our mailing list, please email

Members of GPRG are committed to gendering the disciplines of politics and international relations. Our members are engaged in research and teaching activities on gender and politics. GPRG members have developed and run Honours and Master's courses on gender, including The Global Politics of Sex and Gender (nominated for a Edinburgh University Students' Association award for Best Course in every year it has run).

Our students won first prize in the PSA Women and Politics Specialist Group Undergraduate Essay Competition in 2010 and 2013, and were runners up in 2016.

In 2015-16, Meryl Kenny, Fiona Mackay, and other GPRG members worked with gender scholars across the School and College, EUSA, and a team of Honours students to co-develop a new Ordinary level introduction to the study of Gender - Understanding Gender in the Contemporary World - which ran for the first time in 2016-17.

Related people and projects