Let Her Finish: Gender And Deliberative Participation In Australian Senate Estimates Hearings

Thesis, Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours), University of Canberra

In 2016, Australia ranks 54th in the world for representation of women in Parliament, with women This inevitably inspires discussion about women in parliament, quotas, and leadership styles. Given the wealth of research which suggests that equal representation does not necessarily guarantee equal treatment, this study focuses on Authoritative representation. That is, the space in between winning a seat and making a difference where components of communication and interaction affect the authority of a speaker. This study combines a Discourse Analysis of the official Hansard transcripts from the Senate Estimates Committee hearings, selected over a 10 year period between 2006 and 2015, with a linguistic ethnography of the Australian Senate to complement results with context. 

Behind Every Great Man: A Compartive Analysis of the Role of First Lady

Conference Paper

This project is in progress.

The formalising of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s duties through her appointment to the executive branch of the White House, prompted researchers to further investigate the role and influence of the first lady. Research in this area has largely coalesced around three themes: the role of individual first ladies, the constraints of first ladyship, and the formal definition of the position (Stooksbery & Edgeman, 2003). In many ways, the role of First Lady encapsulates the professional female experience. The work of the First Lady is unpaid, and often unrecognised, she is punished for utilising power in a public fashion, and is required to do her job in a 'feminine' fashion. Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump will be juxtaposed in an attempt to uncover the publicly acceptable level of first lady involvement. There is a need for a new paradigm of accountability, as fear of active first women is credited to a lack of clarity surrounding the role more so than a lack of constitutional or legal restraint (Duerst-Lahti and Kelly 1995). Through comparative analysis, this paper hopes to contribute to a formation of a new paradigm.

Women have a long history of being blamed for events beyond their control. Marie-Antoinette, blamed for the suffering of the French proletariat, or Anne Boleyn, blamed for the fractures between Tudor England and Catholic church, are notable examples of blame misattribution. The visibility of women (existing as ‘the other’ in the political world), is partly able to explain this disproportionate attribution of blame to women.  There is a significant body of research suggesting that women are often promoted into precarious positions, where they will have difficulty leading successfully. And yet, research also shows that difficult circumstances are more commonly used to diffuse the responsibility of men. This study will focus on two central hypotheses; That there is a preponderance of blame attributed to female leaders for ‘many handed problems’; and that circumstances are used to diffuse blame for male leaders more often than female leaders.


The Inextricable Madame President: How gender qualifies the prescriptions of executive political office

Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (potential)
Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis

 Associate Professor Mary Walsh
Adjunct Professor Virginia Hausseger
Dr Brendan McCaffrie