Johanna Kantola's research while affiliated with Tampere University and other places

Publications (84)

Article
There is a notable gap in the academic literature on racism within European Union institutions. This article scrutinizes racism and normative whiteness in one of these institutions—namely, the European Parliament. The article asks how European whiteness, as a norm, is related to and sustains racism in the European Parliament and how this affects ef...
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Political group formation in the European Parliament (EP) after European elections is a core feature of supranational party politics. The research objective of this article is to scrutinise democratic practices and the role of values, more specifically gender equality, in this political group formation. Complementing extant literature, this article...
Article
The research objective of this article is to analyze the European Parliament’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of feminist governance. Feminist governance can either play a role in ensuring the inclusion of a gender perspective in crisis responses, or, quite the opposite, crises may weaken or sideline feminist governance. The...
Chapter
The chapter analyzes how leadership continues to be gendered in the European Parliament (EP), failing to provide a level playing field for MEPs. It focuses on the leadership positions provided by the political groups of the Parliament. Political groups have grown in importance alongside the institutional development of the EP, and leadership positi...
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This Special Issue of Politique européenne on “Social Partners, Gender and Intersectionality in the European Union” breaks new ground in social sciences, political science and EU studies as well as in gender and politics research by studying the multiple ways in which gender and intersectional inequalities shape and are shaped by social partners an...
Chapter
The Nordic model of employment relations, characterised by centralised collective bargaining and strong collaboration between social partners and the state, has often been linked to positive gender equality outcomes. Although the Nordic model has maintained stability even in the economic crisis of 2008, the Finnish labour market was faced with neol...
Chapter
In this concluding chapter, we discuss the findings of the book chapters on three dimensions: (i) collective bargaining and gender equality, (ii) social partners’ influence on gender policy-making and framings of equality and (iii) gendered patterns of representation in trade unions. We demonstrate how discussing the three dimensions together provi...
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In the introductory chapter to this volume, we suggest that focussing on social partners representing employees and employers provides important new insights for gender and politics scholarship. Analysing social partners and corporatist processes helps to explain the persistence of gendered inequalities in the labour market and problems in gender e...
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Gender equality has become strongly contested in contemporary European politics. The European Parliament (EP) is not insulated from these developments. This chapter analyses the internal functioning of the parliament’s political groups from the perspective of gender equality. Rather than focusing on policies and policy-making processes, the chapter...
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The turbulent times the European Union witnessed over the last years together with the increased competences for the European Parliament call for closer examination of political groups as core actors in this setting. In this introductory chapter, we engage with political groups as unique alliances of national party delegations and the context they...
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European Parliament’s political groups are unique conglomerates of national party delegations formed after elections every five years. In this chapter, we develop a novel framework of four layers of political group formation and show that pervasive informal practices and norms in addition to the formal rules of the European Parliament (EP) shape po...
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This chapter analyses the European social partners’ constructions and activities in relation to the European Union’s gender equality policies. The role that the social partners play in shaping this policy field has received little scholarly attention to date. We address both trade unions and employer organisations and ask how the European social pa...
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Against the background of the European Parliament (EP) operating in a polycrisis, we review the chapters of the edited volume and their innovative inroads into studying EP’s political groups and their multiple functions, powers and practices. In this concluding chapter, we pay specific attention to the role of Euroscepticism, political groups as de...
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The European Parliament is now host to a significant number of politicians from radical right populist parties, leaving the Parliament to deal with illiberal elements within its structures. At the heart of the European Union's democratic values is a commitment to gender equality, a commitment hotly contested by illiberal actors and radical right po...
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Over the last decade, several European Union (EU) Member States have experienced unprecedented processes of de-democratization with negative consequences for equality and social justice. Democracy as an ideal and practice is connected to equality, openness, universality, rights, inclusion, participation, and contestation. De-democratization in turn...
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European integration is challenged on numerous grounds today with democracy and fundamental values at the center of the debates. The article analyses the role of the European Parliament’s political groups in shaping human rights as a core democratic value and the ways in which religion and gender equality are utilized. The research material consist...
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The European Parliament's political groups have traditionally been studied using quantitative methods and roll call votes. This article expands such research agendas by applying qualitative methods and interview data to expose existing power relations not just on macro level but within and between political groups. This generates insights on the wa...
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Over the past twenty years, the field of “gender and politics” has flourished in European political science. An example of this is the growing number of “gender and politics” scholars and the increased attention paid to gender perspectives in the study of the political. Against this backdrop, we take stock of how the “gender and politics” field has...
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Social constructivism is well suited to address continuous changes in European integration. As political processes such as the 2008 economic crisis in Europe and Brexit show, theorising a polity in continuous transformation requires analytical approaches capable of grasping this social construction, its structures and agents. Despite such contribut...
Chapter
The chapter analyses the shifting relationship between feminist politics and the state in Finland in the 2010s, with the aim of providing new insights into this relationship in a changing political context. The chapter focuses on a particular form of neoliberal and managerial governance that aims to make government decision-making processes more st...
Article
Populism is everywhere in Europe today: in politics and in research. Most research on populism has neglected the relationship between gender equality and populism. The aim of this symposium is precisely to scrutinize the relationship between feminist politics and right-wing and left-wing populist parties in Europe. The contribution of the symposium...
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An increasingly polarized European Parliament (EP) has become an important site of radical right populist opposition to gender equality. Through a qualitative analysis of populist interventions in EP plenary debates on gender equality in the 8th legislature (2014–2019), this article identifies the discursive strategies adopted by right populists to...
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The global #MeToo movement exposed the prevalence of sexual harassment across countries, in diverse contexts, and within institutions; including the supposedly gender-friendly European Parliament (EP). Using a unique set of interview data with key actors in the #MeTooEP campaign and Members of European Parliament and staff, this article analyzes th...
Article
This article explores the role of a hitherto under‐researched set of actors – the European Social Partners – in shaping the European Union's (EU) gender equality policies and their framework conditions. The positions of the social partners are analysed across three key policy issues of importance to gender equality: the initiative on work‐life bala...
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The European Parliament has one of the highest percentages of female parliamentarians (>40% after EE19) and its multinational composition is unique. What better institution to examine in terms of gender relations in politics today? This proposed book brings together a unique set of researchers to illuminate all aspects of this important parliament...
Article
The European integration process is facing unprecedented challenges. Beginning in 2008, the global financial crisis, which later turned into a eurocrisis, started a chain of events that shook the process of European integration. From Brexit to the rise of European populist parties and to attacks to democracy in member states such as Hungary and Pol...
Article
Vaikka työmarkkinajärjestöillä on ollut keskeinen rooli suomalaisessa tasa-arvopolitiikassa, korporatistisen järjestelmän, sukupuolen ja vallan suhdetta ei ole juurikaan Suomessa tutkittu. Artikkeli tarkastelee työmarkkinakeskusjärjestöjen tasa-arvopolitiikkaan liittyvien ulostulojen kautta valtion ja työmarkkinakeskusjärjestöjen välistä suhdetta j...
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European Parliament's (EP) party groups are crucial to democratic representation in the EU. Much of the academic research about party groups has been gender‐blind. This article draws on qualitative methods to undertake a gender analysis of EP party groups. The article analyses the gendered experiences of women MEPs from two Nordic countries, Denmar...
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In gender and politics research, the implementation of gender equality policies is becoming the key question. Gender equality policies are often good policies on paper but fall through in implementa-tion. This study is located in the context of this emerging feminist scholarship on implementation of gender policies. This article analyzes the barrie...
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While populism has been subject to growing scholarly interest, its relationship to feminist politics has remained conspicuously understudied. This article investigates this relationship by analysing two cases of European populism: left populism in Spain (Podemos), and right populism in Finland (the Finns Party). The questions asked, and the challen...
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Feminist research focusing on gender policy successes in the 1990s and 2000s emphasized the strengths of women’s organizations of political parties in advancing key gender equality issues in Finland. However, both the “feminism” and “politics” of political parties’ women’s organizations, hitherto apparent in Finland and elsewhere in Europe, are now...
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This article explores the possibilities and constraints for feminist knowledge production and diffusion, and its influence over policy making and public debate in the context of austerity and neoliberal governance. By analysing the process in which a group of Finnish academic feminists used their expert position to influence government policy in 20...
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This article analyses the spaces provided by political parties for feminist knowledge about the economic crisis. The novelty of the article lies in applying theories about affects and emotions to traditional gender and politics debates. The article focuses on political parties’ campaigns at the time of European parliamentary elections in Finland (M...
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With the figure of a triangle as our analytical tool, we analyze the challenges that the convergence of neoliberalism, conservatism, and nationalism poses for gender equality and feminism. Focusing on the current Finnish political context, we argue that feminist critique of these three gendered political projects is compartmentalized: women’s organ...
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The aim of this article is to explore the ways in which gender equality is used in gender and politics research. We contend that the political and theoretical relevance of studying the multiple meanings of gender equality is enhanced by current crises. We discern four strategies used in gender and politics research: (1) escaping equality; (2) fixin...
Chapter
Interpretive studies of EU gender equality policies show that gender equality is constructed and contested in the EU. Not only does the European Parliament or the European Commission put forward different framings of gender equality problems and solutions, but also within each institution different meanings are attributed to gender, equality, women...
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Austerity politics, war in the Middle East and at other borders of the European Union, the rise of nationalisms, the emergence of populist parties and politicians, Islamophobia and the refugee crisis are amongst the recent developments suggesting the need for discussions about the theories and concepts that academic disciplines provide for making s...
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This article explores feminist resistance and resistance to feminism in gender equality planning in educational institutions in Finland. Focusing on feminist resistance signifies asking whether gender equality planning makes feminist resistance possible, and, if so, what does this resistance look like and what does it do? The article argues that fe...
Chapter
In this chapter, we analyse feminist resistance to gendered austerity politics in Finland. We ask whether austerity and the political climate shaped by neoliberalism, conservatism and racism constitute a turning point for Finnish feminism. We analyse the reactions of established women’s organizations and trade unions as well as new feminist initiat...
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This chapter introduces the theme of the book, that is, the ‘political’ implications of the current economic crisis in Europe from a gender and intersectional perspective. This means introducing the three main issues developed in the chapters: (i) European Union (EU) austerity politics and related institutional and policy changes, (ii) the European...
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This concluding chapter draws implications for understanding gender politics and policy in Europe in times of crisis. The picture that emerges from the analysis shows patterns of political and institutional dismantlement of gender equality policies, perpetuation of old gendered dynamics that the crisis has revitalized in both new and old political...
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Full-text available
This article explores feminist resistance and resistance to feminism in gender equality planning in educational institutions in Finland. Focusing on feminist resistance signifies asking whether gender equality planning makes feminist resistance possible, and, if so, what does this resistance look like and what does it do? The article argues that fe...
Book
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What does it mean to do political analysis from a gender perspective? This book provides an original analytical framework for doing political analysis that navigates readers through five different feminist approaches: ‘women’, ‘gender’, ‘deconstruction’, ‘intersectionality’, and ‘post-deconstruction’. Applying this framework to the analysis of the...
Book
The unique contribution of this book is to explore the gendered politics of the economic crisis in Europe. It focuses, firstly, on the changes in the political and economic decision-making institutions and processes of the EU and their consequences for gender equality policy. Secondly, the book analyses the gendered impacts of austerity politics on...
Book
This book is a unique exploration into the gendered politics of the economic crisis in Europe. It focuses, firstly, on the changes in the political and economic decision-making institutions and processes of the EU and their consequences for gender equality policy. Secondly, the book analyses the gendered impacts of austerity politics on member stat...
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In this article, we analyse the case of reconciling work and family as a particularly illuminative example of the effects of soft Europeanization. We focus on one particular policy instrument of the EU, namely projects co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), which have sought to develop family-friendly arrangements in Finnish workplaces. Our a...
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In this article, we analyze transnational party politics in the European Union from a gender perspective. This is a subject that has been neglected both by mainstream European studies on party politics and by gender scholars who work on political parties. Drawing on the insights of these two research traditions, we build toward an analytical framew...
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In political research and everyday politics, Finland is often presented as one of the gender-equal countries. The Nordic countries, Finland included, top a number of gender equality indices indicating that women's societal position is particularly advanced. Feminist research, however, seeks to highlight the issue specificity of such evaluations. Wh...
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This article develops new analytical tools for considering the dynamics of power in gender equality. This is done by focusing on a closely related concept, legitimacy, and utilizing it to shed light on the relations between gender equality and power. We develop a new concept to describe the “undecided” conceptual zone between what is considered “le...
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This article argues that the concept of ‘state feminism’ no longer adequately captures the complexity of emerging feminist engagements with new forms of governance. It suggests that ‘market feminism’ offers a new conceptual framework from which feminist engagements with the state can be analysed and evaluated, and the changes within state feminism...
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Addressing multiple inequalities through anti-discrimination measures has become a new policy priority across Europe. This trend is also reflected in the Nordic countries, where equality politics is currently undergoing great changes. Public policies increasingly take an ‘integrated’ and ‘multiple’ approach to inequality and discrimination, moving...
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The key aim of this chapter is to explore the possibilities and constraints that the complex setting of the European equality regime poses for ‘institutionalizing intersectionality’. That the EU has an impact on national equality law and policies is beyond question, but a study of various EU power instruments, institutions, and political actors is...
Article
Within barely a year, two school shootings shook Finland. The school shootings shocked Finnish society, forcing media, academics and experts, police and politicians alike to search for reasons behind the violent incidents. Focusing their analysis on the two main Finnish newspapers, Helsingin Sanomat and Hufvudstadsbladet , authoritative sources of...
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This article explores the institutional and ideational changes that impact on the context in which state feminism is situated (the state) and the form that it takes (feminism). It draws on a recent study of women's policy agencies in 12 Western democracies and focuses on two changes in particular: the processes of Europeanisation and neoliberalisat...
Chapter
Feminist studies of the EU seek to make sense of a field that has become enormously complex. Gender equality has been an issue in the EU since the inclusion of Article 119 on equal pay in the Treaty of Rome 1957 but has since widened to the recognition of equality between women and men as a fundamental principle of democracy for the whole EU. Gende...
Article
Feminist studies of the European Union seek to make sense of a field that has become enormously complex. Gender equality has been an issue in the EU since the inclusion of Article 119 on equal pay in the Treaty of Rome 1957 but has since widened to the recognition of equality between women and men as a fundamental principle of democracy for the who...
Article
This Special Issue analyses the current transformations in anti-discrimination and equality policies in Europe. As a result of the expansion of European Union (EU) law to combat discrimination, a number of European countries have reformed their equality bodies and law. This has resulted in the creation of ‘single equality bodies’ in, for example, B...
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The promotion of ‘women’s interests’ is a central focus and concern of advocates of women’s political representation. Examining the policy priorities and initiatives of female office-holders, existing research seeks to establish whether there are links between women’s presence and policy outcomes favorable to women as a group. Building on recent wo...
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This article seeks to rethink how scholars have traditionally studied women's substantive representation. It outlines a framework that aims to replace questions like 'Do women represent women?' with ones like 'Who claims to act for women?' and 'Where, how, and why does the substantive representation of women occur?' Arguing that representation occu...
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The article provides an in-depth analysis of the gendering processes among PhD candidates in a political science department. It uses Joan Acker's theory of gendered organizations operating through four dimensions: the gendered division of labour, gendered interaction, gendered symbols and gendered interpretations of one's position in the organizati...
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This article focuses on feminist debates about the state in International Relations (IR). I develop an argument about the gendered reproduction of the state that is based on a Foucauldian notion of power and a Butlerian deconstruction of gender. This approach challenges the unity of the state, power and gender, and the state becomes the gendered ef...
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In international comparisons, Finland is regarded as one of the Nordic ‘women-friendly’ welfare states. In gender equality policy, Finland has been a runner-up which has followed the pioneers Norway and Sweden. Although Finland established its first gender equality machinery, the Council for Gender Equality, simultaneously with them in 1972, it was...
Book
Where is feminist state theory today? This book offers novel insights into social science debates by analyzing feminist theories of the state. The themes are developed within a comparative perspective. Focusing on devolution in Scotland and the European Union, the book further explores how feminist state theories conceive multi-level governance.
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The article argues from a Nordic, feminist and poststructuralist position that feminist state theories need to be developed methodologically. This claim is based on both theoretical arguments as well as empirical arguments arising from a case study on care politics in Denmark. In contrast to answering questions about the essence of the state, the a...
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This article examines discourses invoked in the UK debates about prostitution and trafficking in women. The authors suggest that there are three striking features about these discourses: (1) the absence of the sex work discourse, (2) the dominance of the public nuisance discourse in relation to kerb-crawling and (3) the dominance of moral order dis...
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Introduction. Within Britain's current legal framework prostitution is conceived of as a public nuisance. The position of the prostitute is ambiguous in relation to the law: the sale of sex is not an offence but many of the activities connected with it are. This framework was created by the Report on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (Wolfenden...

Citations

... In particular, the focus of the early documents and discussions around the spending plans was on particular, and male-dominated, industries such as construction, agriculture, and transporthighlighting the limited evaluation of the programme from a gender equality perspective, and also a poor understanding of the gendered nature of the economy. Through the intervention of the European Parliament, the regulation governing the NAPs and the recovery funds included a requirement to take account of the gendered aspects of both the pandemic and future spending plans (Elomaki and Kantola, 2021). Despite this, there is quite a variety in the level and type of gender analysis within the submitted NAPs. ...
... Despite the respective merits of this scholarship, gender "is seldom considered in relation to the EP's composition, for instance in terms of political qualifications" (Beauvallet and Michon 2013: 175). Almost ten years later, the same gap has been revealed by Kantola and Miller who conclude that studies of women's leadership in the EP remain rare (Kantola and Miller 2022). ...
... Right-wing populists argue in one breath that feminism and "gender theory" are elitist projects that go against the will of the people and simultaneously that Muslims do not belong in Western Europe because Islam opposes the "core Western value" of women's empowerment (Mayer et al., 2014;Spierings and Glas, 2021). While other works considered the first part and studied right-wing populist backlashes in support of women's rights generally (e.g., Norris and Inglehart, 2019;Lombardo et al., 2021), Glas and Spierings . /fpos. . ...
... Prawo i Sprawiedliwość bend and stretch the understanding of gender equality to fit their purposes (cf. Ahrens et al., 2021;Kantola and Lombardo, 2020). Their 'traditional' values present women paternalistically and with 'benign' sexism: ...
... This approach pays little attention to the experience of practitioners. Not only does it tend to homogenize gender experts as a group, but it also leaves little theoretical and empirical space for accounts of political struggles and feminist resistance that might take place in GE work (Ferguson, 2015;Grosser & McCarthy, 2019), especially when these are not enunciated as such (Ikävalko & Kantola, 2017). ...
... More recently, some scholars have become interested in other emergent roles of EP groups, but they have mostly focussed on the virulent issue of how the centrist pro-integration groups maintain and handle the cordon sanitaire against the far right (e.g. Kantola and Miller 2021;. ...
... In a similar guise, the 2014 EP PiS election program asserts that the party will 'defend Polish national identity, traditions, culture as well as the Polish mode of life and customs' from 'risky supranational cultural experiments' and 'cultural reeducation from outside' (PiS, 2014). As noted by Kantola and Lombardo (2020), to advocate this stance within the EU, ECR discourses emphasize the principle of subsidiarity (PiS, 2014; Interview 2) embedding it in Euroscepticism. A PiS MEP even framed subsidiarity as 'an active social policy' to support the family (Fieldnote 2). ...
... The issues of sexism and sexual harassment (SH) are topical. Following the #MeToo movement, most Western institutions are in crisis regarding these issues, including medical and educational institutions [1]. People are calling for change, including institutional change, and fighting against sexism and SH is an integral part of this call. ...
... Cependant, comme le souligne les introductions à ce numéro spécial, le rôle que jouent les partenaires sociaux dans l'élaboration de la politique européenne d'égalité de genre a reçu peu d'attention dans la littérature en études européennes et en études de genre, tant dans une perspective empirique que théorique (voir Abels et al., 2021 pour un panorama représentatif de l'absence de ces acteurs). Peu de travaux s'intéressent à leur place dans l'émergence et le développement de ce secteur d'action publique ou encore à leur influence sur ses transformations récentes (pour une exception sur ce dernier point, voir Elomäki et Kantola, 2020 ;2021). Dans ce contexte, l'objectif de ce texte est d'interroger les relations entre les organisations représentatives du marché du travail au niveau européen et l'action publique menée au niveau communautaire puis européen, afin de traiter la question des inégalités de genre dans une perspective longitudinale depuis les négociations du traité de Rome. ...
... Because the work of the European Parliament comprises two main stages-the committee stage and the plenary stage-parliamentary committees have a very important role: they draw up, amend and adopt legislative proposals and own-initiative reports; they consider Commission and Council proposals and, where necessary, compile reports to be presented to the plenary assembly (Warasin et al., 2019). The vast majority of EU legislative acts are endorsed by early agreements-i.e. at first or early second reading, when parliamentary committees de facto drive the process. ...