Abstract

One challenge within gender and politics literature is understanding the circumstances under which gender equality policies are adopted. This article analyzes a “failed” case of adoption in a gender-progressive setting: the Swedish Social Democrats' failure in 2005 to reform parental leave legislation by extending the quota for each parent. The analysis builds on interviews with high-ranking party representatives—both advocates and opponents of the reform. We identify tensions between proponents' gender concerns and opponents' class-based interests and suggest that left-oriented parties are unlikely to adopt gender equality policies when competing class interests coincide with veto players' short-term electoral goals.

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