Gender on the agenda: How the paucity of women judges became an issue

Sally J. Kenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Analyzing how the virtual absence of women in high judicial office in the United Kingdom came to concern policy makers expands our understanding of agenda setting. By identifying the idiosyncratic barriers that impeded diffusion of innovation, this case suggests that an issue may get on the governmental agenda and policy change occur without a threshold groundswell of support or consensus that one sees in more typical cases. Policy change may help more to produce a consensus after the fact than reflect it. This case also seems exceptional for both feminist policy change and change driven by legal mobilization in that a very few uncoordinated actors made the difference. The agents of change in this case linked their cause to other governmental priorities as key personnel changed. Litigation provided one vehicle for this discursive work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-735
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008


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