School of Social and Political Science

Dr Meryl Kenny

Job Title

Senior Lecturer in Gender and Politics; SPS Deputy Director of Learning and Teaching

Meryl Kenny's photo

Room number


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

My research interests bridge the intersection of gender politics, party politics, territorial politics, and institutional approaches to the study of politics. 


    Meryl is Senior Lecturer in Gender and Politics at the University of Edinburgh, Deputy Director of Learning and Teaching for the School of Social and Political Science, and Co-Director of the Centre on Constitutional Change (2021-present). She joined the subject area of Politics and International Relations in August 2015, having held previous positions at the University of Leicester and the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia). 

    At Edinburgh, Meryl is also founding convenor and member of the Gender Politics Research Group, which hosts the genderpol blog  (@genderpol on Twitter). She sits on the steering group of the University's cross-disciplinary GENDER.ED network. She is also a member of the steering group of the cross-party Women5050 campaign for legal gender quotas in Scotland.

    Meryl is Co-Director of the Feminism and Institutionalism International Network (FIIN), based at Edinburgh, and co-editor of the book series Studies in Feminist Institutionalism with Oxford University Press . She was Associate Editor of The British Journal of Politics & International Relations (2019-21) and Scottish Affairs (2015-19); currently sits on the editorial advisory board of Political Studies Review; and was previously an editorial board member for Politics & Gender. In 2021, she received the UK Political Studies Association's Richard Rose Prize, awarded to a younger scholar who has made a distinctive contribution to the study of British politics. 

    Working with Honours students, Meryl designed and runs the course 'Understanding Gender in the Contemporary World' (Pre-Honours), which provides an introduction to gender for students from across the University.  In 2015/16, Meryl's course SPS in Practice was awarded 'Best Course' at the EUSA Teaching Awards, and was also the Runner-Up for the Innovative Assessment Prize at the ceremony. You can listen to Meryl and MA Politics graduate James Bryson talking about the SPS in Practice experience here and read her Teaching Matters blog about co-creating a course with students here. With Claire Duncanson and Fiona Mackay, she won the Political Studies Association Innovation in Teaching Politics (Group) Award in 2019, for the course The Global Politics of Sex and Gender. From 2021-2023, Meryl is Principal Investigator on a PTAS grant entitled 'Transforming Staff-Student Partnerships: co-creating curriculum through the course Understanding Gender in the Contemporary World.'

    Topics interested in supervising

    I am able to offer PhD supervision in most areas relating to gender politics (international, national and local), party politics, elections and political representation, and British and comparative politics. I would particularly welcome prospective students with interests in feminist and institutionalist approaches to the study of party politics, political recruitment, and/or post-devolution politics in the UK.



    Staff Hours and Guidance

    Sem 1 (2021/22): Tuesdays, 9-10 am

    Please note that Dr. Kenny does not work (or answer emails) on Fridays. 

    Publications by user content

    Publication Research Explorer link
    Kenny M, Bjarnegard E, Lovenduski J, Childs S, Evans E, Verge T. Reclaiming party politics research: Response to Anika Gauja and Karina Kosiara-Pedersen. 2021. Decline, adaptation and relevance: political parties and their researchers in the twentieth century. European Political Science 20(1):123–38. European Political Science. 2022 Jun;21:274-291.
    Thomson J, Kenny M. Politics and international relations: A gendered discipline. Political Studies Review. 2021 Feb 1;19(1):3-11.
    Kenny M. Political parties. In Atchison AL, editor, Political science is for everybody: An introduction to political science. University of Toronto Press. 2021. p. 105-128
    Cowan S, Giles HJ, Hewer R, Kaufmann B, Kenny M, Morris S et al. Sex and gender equality law and policy: A response to Murray, Hunter Blackburn and MacKenzie. Scottish Affairs. 2020 Nov 1;1-20.
    Evans E, Kenny M. Doing politics differently? Applying a feminist institutionalist lens to the U.K. Women's Equality Party. Politics & Gender. 2020 Mar 1;16(1):26-47.
    Piscopo JM, Kenny M. Rethinking the ambition gap: Gender and candidate emergence in comparative perspective. European Journal of Politics and Gender. 2020 Feb 1;3(1):3-10.
    Evans E, Kenny M. The Women's Equality Party: Emergence, organisation and challenges. Political Studies. 2019 Nov 1;67(4):855-871.
    Kenny M. From Thatcher to May and beyond: Women in British politics. In Allen N, Bartle J, editors, None Past the Post: Britain at the Polls 2017. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 2018
    Kenny M, Mackay F. Feminist and gendered approaches. In Lowndes V, DM, Stoker G, editors, Theory and Methods in Political Science. 4 ed. Basingstoke: Red Globe Press. 2017. p. 92-108. (Political Analysis).
    Bjarnegard E, Kenny M. Who, Where and How? Informal Institutions and the Third Generation of Research on Gendered Dynamics in Political Recruitment. In Waylen G, editor, Gender and Informal Institutions. London: Rowman & Littlefield International. 2017. p. 203-222. 10. (Feminist Institutionalist Perspectives).
    Luhiste M, Kenny M. Pathways to power: Women's Representation in the 2014 European Parliament elections. European Journal of Political Research. 2016 Jul 11;55(3):626-641.
    Kenny M, Verge T. Opening up the Black Box: Gender and Candidate Selection in a New Era. Government and Opposition. 2016 Jul;51(3):351-369.
    Bjarnegard E, Kenny M. Comparing candidate selection: A feminist institutionalist approach. Government and Opposition. 2016 Apr 29;51(3):370-392.
    Bjarnegard E, Kenny M. Revealing the secret garden: The informal dimensions of political recruitment. Politics & Gender. 2015 Dec;11(4):748-753.
    Kenny M. Women and the 2015 general election: Shattering the political glass ceiling? Scottish Affairs. 2015 Nov;24(4):389-408.
    Kenny M. A Feminist Institutionalist Approach. Politics & Gender. 2014 Dec;10(4):679-684.
    Kenny M, Mackay F. When Is Contagion Not Very Contagious? Dynamics of Women’s Political Representation in Scotland. Parliamentary Affairs. 2014 Oct;67(4):866-886.