Examining the Gendered Regime of Slovak Cabinet Appointment Using a Feminist Institutionalist Perspective


Silvia Hudáčková

Studia Politica Slovaca, 2022, vol.  15, no. 2, p. 3-23
Language: English
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31577/SPS.2022-2.1

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In this study, I am applying the feminist institutionalist model developed by Annesley et al. (2019) to analyze cabinet formation in three Slovak governments by focusing on the actors, formal and informal rules, and the process of ministerial selection. By interviewing political actors who participated in the cabinet formation, I am uncovering which type of criteria—experiential, affiliational, or representational—are decisive in selecting a ministrable. It is the affiliational criteria that were decisive in most of the cases of ministerial selection in Slovakia, as the need for experience is a prescriptive but very flexible criterion that can be disregarded when needed. On the other hand, representational criteria played no role in cabinet formation in Slovakia. Consequently, this study reveals how the interplay of formal and informal norms and rules maintains a gendered regime of ministerial selection that conserves the political disadvantage of women in Slovak cabinets. The characteristics of an institutional setting, such as that of the party system, play an important role in the gendered regime as well. A small number of portfolios and a high number of parties in coalitions create conditions where only a few party leaders are usually appointed to the cabinet. Weak party organizations, lack of women’s organizations within parties, and the absence of conviction among the selectors highlighting the benefits of gender equality offer little hope for the future improvement of gender balance in Slovak cabinets.

gendered regime, Slovak government, cabinet appointments, Feminist institutionalism

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