The Gender Effect in Intra-Party Meritocracy (with Rabia Kutlu).


Dr Tugba Bozcaga joined EIS as a lecturer in politics with a specialisation in political methodology. She earned a PhD in political science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2020. Before coming to King’s, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Middle East Initiative at Harvard University. She is also a faculty fellow at the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies (AALIMS). Her research focuses on political economy of development, with a substantive focus on local governance, bureaucracy and state capacity, distributive politics, social welfare, and migration. Her work has been awarded Mancur Olson Best Dissertation Prize in Political Economy (Honorable Mention) from American Political Science Association (APSA). She also received the Best Comparative Policy Paper Award from APSA Public Policy Section, APSA MENA Politics Section Best Paper Award, and APSA Religion and Politics Section Best Paper Award


While it is generally argued that the parliamentary activities of the MPs will increase their chances for re-election, this link is not straightforward in closed-list PR systems, where the party leaderships dominate the candidate selection processes. The determinants of the centralized candidate selection processes are highly ambiguous, making it hard to understand how accountability works for MPs in such settings. Furthermore, existing research pays little attention to how politicians’ gender interacts with these processes. This article aims to answer these questions by analyzing the determinants of candidacy list placements using a novel dataset containing over 200,000 parliamentary speeches in Turkey. We present evidence that (1) parliamentary activity has a statistically significant positive effect on the candidacy list placement decisions of the party elites, and yet, (2) this effect is conditional upon politicians’ gender. We found that speech is associated with higher candidacy list placements in the next election for women politicians while no such effect exists for men. We suggest that this heterogeneity is driven by intra-party competition and the perception that women MPs would be less threatening for existing party leadership positions compared to men MPs.