This introduction provides a theoretical framework for investigating the effect of gender on national-level executive branch leadership. Currently, there is no consensus as to what is expected of a woman who occupies her countrys highest office. The article argues that this disagreement is due to the assumption of an idealised woman leader. Adopting an intersectional approach to studying gender and executive leadership, it is argued that it is possible neither to identify a single female chief executive style nor to a priori identify a set of female policy positions. Because gender norms differ within and across countries, we must determine what kind of a female politician we are studying to determine how her particular gender might impact on her governance. The article then considers what might be expected of a German Bundeskanzlerin who is also a Protestant CDU member trained as a natural scientist and raised in the GDR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations