Drude Dahlerup

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Drude Dahlerup
Born (1945-02-03) 3 February 1945 (age 73)
Academic background
Alma materAarhus University, Denmark
Academic work
Main interestsGender studies and politics

Drude Dahlerup (born 3 February 1945 in Aarhus, Denmark) is a Danish-Swedish professor of Political Science at Stockholm University. Her main research area is gender and politics. She is an international consultant on the empowerment of women in politics and a specialist on the implementation of gender quota systems. Spokesperson for the EU-critical center-left June Movement during four Danish referenda in the 1990s.


Dahlerup graduated from Aarhus University in 1974, and later worked there as a researcher and teacher.


She was an associate professor from 1989 and was appointed as a full professor in 1998 at the Department of Political Science at Stockholm University, Sweden. Other appointments she has held include Visiting Researcher at Radcliffe College, Harvard University 1981-82; Visiting Professor, Birkbeck College, University of London, 2002–03; Visiting Professor at Faculty of Social Science, Radboud University, Nijmegen, 2013-14.

In the 1990s, Dahlerup was one of the leading figures in the No-campaign in the Danish EU-referenda on the new EU-Treaties in 1992, 1993, 1998 and against the euro in 2000. She was co-founder and spokesperson for the center-left EU-critical JuneMovement (JuniBevægelsen), one of the leading EU-critical movements in Denmark, represented in the European Parliament 1993-2009.[1]

Dahlerup lives in Täby, north of Stockholm.

She has published extensively on women in politics, quota systems, the women's movements and feminist theory. In a most-cited 1988-article, she applied the ‘critical mass theory’ known from nuclear physics to the minority position of women in politics. Among her edited books are The New Women’s Movement: Feminism and Political Power in Europe and the U.S.A (Sage 1986); Women, Quotas and Politics (Routledge 2006) and Breaking Male Dominance in old Democracies (with Monique Leyenaar, Oxford Univ. Press 2013). She wrote a two volume book, Rødstrømperne (the Redstockings), about the development, new thinking and impact of the Danish new Women’s Liberation Movement, 1970-85 (in Danish, Gyldendal 1998).

Dahlerup was vice-chair of the Danish Government's Council for European Politics 1993-2000; member of the board of KVINFO, The Danish Centre for Information on Women, Gender and Diversity, Copenhagen, 1998-2003; head of Cekvina, Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Aarhus, 1991–92 and 1997. Since 2006 chair of the Danish EU-critical think-thank, NyAgenda.[2]

In cooperation with International IDEA and the Inter-Parliamentary Union Dahlerup and her research team are operating the global web site on the use of electoral gender quotas around the world. Dahlerup edited (with Lenita Freidenvall) the report “Electoral Gender Quota Systems and their Implementation in Europe”, requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Gender Equality, 2009, up-dated 2011 and 2013 (PE 408.309 and 493.011). In the article, “Quotas as a Fast Track to Equal Political Representation for Women: Why Scandinavia is No Longer the Model” (with Lenita Freidenvall), the concepts of the’ Fast Track Model’ versus the ‘Incremental Track Model’ to women’s political empowerment was introduced.

Dahlerup works as a consultant for international organizations (IPU, UNDP, UNWomen, Kvinna-till-Kvinna, and Int. IDEA) to countries, which are in the process of democratization and want to introduce active measures in order to empower women in politics and increase women’s representation in elected assemblies. She has worked as consultant in Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Tunisia, Kosovo, China, Egypt and Bhutan. Recently, she has been engaged in Nordic-Arab research collaboration on women in public life following the Arab uprisings. Dahlerup is one of the 20 members of the Global Civil Society Advisory Group to the executive director of UN Women.


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