Selecting in or Selecting Out? Gender Gaps and Political Methodology in Europe

Selecting in or Selecting Out? Gender Gaps and Political Methodology in Europe

by Malu A.C. Gatto, University College London, Anita R. Gohdes, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, Denise Traber, University of Lucerne, Mariken A. C. G. van der Velden, Free University of Amsterdam

Studies investigating gender gaps in the doctoral training of political science students have focused so far overwhelmingly on the US context. Although important research within this context has made strides in identifying the persistent challenges to women’s incorporation in political methodology, much remains unknown about whether women and men have different experiences in methods training during their PhD programs. We contribute to this debate by analyzing data from an original survey on the methods-training experiences of political science PhD students at different European universities. We assess whether gender gaps exist with respect to PhD students’ methods training and confidence in employing methods skills. Our findings show that women cover significantly fewer methods courses in their doctoral training. When women do participate in methods training, they show levels of method employment similar to their male colleagues. We discuss the implications of these findings in the context of European doctoral training.

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