The Paradox of Gender Mainstreaming. The Unanticipated Effects of New Modes of Governance in the Gender Equality Domain
West European Politics
GB : Routledge
118 - 135 p.
This article examines gender mainstreaming as a paradigmatic example of the EU's new modes of governance, which have involved a shift away from the classical method of integration (the 'Community Method'). It considers the form and significance of this atypical policy instrument, introduced as a 'new' instrument to revitalise a policy deemed inadequate since the beginning of the 1990s and as an alternative to the regulatory and corrective tools of equal treatment and equal opportunities. It also investigates the ambiguous impact of gender mainstreaming on the evolution of the gender equality policy. The institutionalisation of this soft and flexible instrument has induced profound changes in the content, scope and nature of the EU gender equality policy. From a specific regulatory policy on discrimination against women it has become a softer and more diverse policy ranged against a broader spectrum of discrimination.