This book provides an in-depth study into the construction and implementation of gender mainstreaming in the European Commission. It is founded in organisation sociology and European integration research. Gender studies are pursued as an integral perspective. This is in contrast to existing publications on gender mainstreaming. Many have been commissioned by governments or government agencies and produced under enormous time pressure. They are often limited to best practice studies with ‘best practice’ actually meaning any element of gender mainstreaming practice, as the implementation of gender mainstreaming in most Member States remains very limited.
The concept of gender mainstreaming has experienced an unexpected boom in the European Union and beyond since the United Nations World Conference of Women in Beijing in 1995. Starting with the evolution of gender mainstreaming, this book examines the extent to which gender mainstreaming can be regarded as an innovation and as well as an institution within a complex organisation like the European Commission.
By ensuring that the effects on both genders of all policies and organisational processes are taken into account, gender mainstreaming seeks to bring what are often marginalized as ‘women’s concerns’ into the mainstream of the analysis. Gender mainstreaming is often regarded as a new paradigm compared to previous concepts of equal treatment and positive action programmes.
The book has three aims. Firstly, from a policy analysis standpoint the book examines to what degree the definition and interpretation of gender mainstreaming adopted by the European Commission can be seen as a policy innovation. Secondly, from an organisational point of view the extent to which the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the European Commission can be seen as an organisational innovation will be studied and, thirdly, as an organisational institution. These are crucial points regarding the current state of the art in organisational studies as well as in EU policy analysis.
Schmidt’s work is original in that it is based on an empirical analysis of gender mainstreaming within an organization.
International Labour Review
Die Studie gewährt einen guten Einblick in die Komplexität der Implementationsbedingungen in der Europäischen Kommission. Damit tägt sie dazu bei, die Diskussionen um GM [Gender Mainstreaming] empirisch fundiert führen zu können. Dies hebt das Buch aus der Fülle der inzwischen kaum noch zu überblickenden Publikationen zu GM hinaus.
Michael Meuser in Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie