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Dr Rainbow Murray, BA (Manchester), MRes (London), PhD (London)


Tel: 020 7882 8432
Location: Arts One 2.22


Rainbow Murray

Dr. Rainbow Murray is an expert on gender politics, representation and political institutions, with particular expertise in French politics and secondary expertise in British and comparative politics.  She has been at QMUL since 2007, during which time she has also held visiting fellowships at the London School of Economics, the Centre for Research on French Politics (CEVIPOF Paris), and the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris).  She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Rainbow’s major publications include the books Parties, Gender Quotas and Candidate Selection in France (Palgrave) and Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling: A Global Comparison of Women’s Campaigns for Executive Office (Praeger).  She is close to completing a third book manuscript exploring the transformative effect of gender quotas on parliamentary representation.  She has also published in journals such as the American Political Science Review, West European Politics, the Political Research Quarterly, Party Politics, and Politics & Gender.  From 2011-15 she co-edited the European Journal of Political Research Political Data Yearbook.  Her research has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy and the City of Paris.

Rainbow loves talking about her research and sharing her expertise.  She has provided expert consultancy to bodies such as the European Union, British Council and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and commentary to a variety of domestic and international print and broadcast media.  She has given talks at conferences, university seminars and public events around the world and always relishes the opportunity to exchange ideas with others.  She also greatly enjoys teaching, and was honoured to receive prestigious teaching awards from Queen Mary in 2010 and 2012. She welcomes applications from prospective PhD students within her research areas, broadly defined.

Rainbow is the Senior Diversity Lead at Queen Mary, advising and consulting on equality and diversity issues at every level of the university.  She has offered service to her profession in a number of ways, from convening several research networks to serving on the executive committee of the Political Studies Association.  She was a Commissioner for the LSE Gender Commission.

More information about Rainbow’s research can be found on her website ( and you can also follow her on twitter (@rainbowmurray).


Undergraduate teaching:

Postgraduate teaching:

  • POLM036 Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods


Research interests:

My primary research interests lie in political representation, gender and politics, candidate selection, French and comparative politics, political parties, parliaments and elections. I am currently completing a major project examining the impact of gender quotas on parliamentary representation, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the City of Paris. I am also developing a new project which looks at male over-representation and the political representation of men's interests.  Latest developments in my research can be found on my personal website:

I am the co-convenor (with Elin Bjarnegård) of a new international research network on Men in Politics. This network brings together scholars interested in the study of men as gendered political actors. I was also the founding convenor of an international network on Women in French Politics.


Parties, Gender Quotas and Candidate Selection in France (Palgrave MacMillan), 2010.
Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling: a Global Comparison of Women’s Campaigns for Executive Office (Praeger), ed, 2010.

Journal Editorials
• Co-editor of the European Journal of Political Research Political Data Yearbook (2011-15)
• Special Issue: “The French Presidential and Legislative Elections 2012”, Parliamentary Affairs 66(1), 2013 (with Raymond Kuhn)
• Special Issue: “Women in French Politics”, Modern and Contemporary France 18(4): 411-503, 2010
• Symposium on “Forecasting the French 2007 Elections", French Politics 6(2): 103-165, 2008

Journal Articles
• “What Makes a Good Politician? Reassessing the Criteria Used for Political Recruitment.” Politics & Gender, 11(4), 2015 (forthcoming).
• “Political Data in 2013” (with Andreas Bågenholm and Kevin Deegan-Krause). European Journal of Political Research Political Data Yearbook 53 (1): 1-15, 2014.
• “Quotas for Men? Reframing Gender Quotas as a Means of Improving Representation for All.” American Political Science Review, 108(3): 520-532, 2014.
• “Quotas, Citizens, and Norms of Representation.” Politics & Gender, 9(3): 304-309, 2013.
• “No Longer the Laggard – How France Leapfrogged the UK for Women’s Representation.” Renewal 20(4): 48-56, 2013.
• “Towards Parity Democracy? Gender Parity in the 2012 French Legislative Elections.” Parliamentary Affairs 66(1): 197-212, 2013.
• “The French Presidential and Parliamentary Elections” (with Raymond Kuhn). Parliamentary Affairs 66(1): 1-16, 2013.
• "Why are Gender Quotas Adopted? Party Pragmatism and Parity in France" (with Mona Lena Krook and Katherine Opello). Political Research Quarterly 65(3): 529-43, 2012.
• "Parity in France: A Dual-Track Solution to Women's Under-Representation." West European Politics 35(2): 343-61, 2012.
• “Political Data in 2011” (with Daniele Caramani and Kevin Deegan-Krause). European Journal of Political Research 51(7-8): 3-23, 2012.
• “Progress but Still No Présidente: Women and the French Presidential Elections.” French Politics, Culture and Society 30(3): 45-60, 2012.
• “French Lesson: What the UK can Learn from the French Experiment with Gender Parity.” Political Quarterly 83(3): 735-41, 2012.
• "Political Data in 2010" (with Daniele Caramani and Kevin Deegan-Krause). European Journal of Political Research 50(7-8): 869-87, 2011.
• "Women in French Politics: Still le deuxième sexe?" Modern & Contemporary France 18(4): 411-4, 2010.
• "Linear Trajectories or Vicious Circles? The Causes and Consequences of Gendered Career Paths in the National Assembly." Modern and Contemporary France 18(4): 445-59, 2010.
• "Second Among Unequals? A Study of Whether France's 'Quota Women' are Up to the Job." Politics and Gender 6(1): 93-118, 2010.
• "Was 2007 a Landmark or a Letdown for Women's Political Representation in France?" Representation 45(1): 29-38, 2009.
• "Fifty years of Feminising France's Fifth Republic." Modern & Contemporary France 16(4): 469-82, 2008.
• "The Power of Sex and Incumbency: a Longitudinal Study of Electoral Performance in France." Party Politics 14(5): 539-54, 2008.
• "Is the Mere Presence of a Strong Female Candidate Enough to Increase the Substantive Representation of Women?" Parliamentary Affairs 61(3): 476-89, 2008.
• "How a High Proportion of Candidates Becomes a Low Proportion of Députées: A New Model to Forecast Women’s Electoral Performance in French Legislative Elections." French Politics 6(2): 152-65, 2008.
• "Introduction: Symposium on Forecasting the French 2007 Elections." French Politics 6(2): 103-5, 2008.
• "How Parties Evaluate Compulsory Quotas: A Study of the Implementation of the 'Parity' Law in France." Parliamentary Affairs 60(4): 568-84, 2007.
• "Why Didn't Parity Work? A Closer Examination of the 2002 Election Results." French Politics 2(3): 347-62, 2004.

Book chapters
• “Mapping ‘Feminist’ Demands Across the French Politics Spectrum,” in K. Celis and S. Childs (eds), Gender, Conservatism and Political Representation, ECPR press, 2014: 231-50. With Réjane Sénac.
• “Gender and Party Politics,” in S. Childs and R. Campbell (eds), Deeds and Words: Gendering Politics after Joni Lovenduski, ECPR press, 2014: 73-90. With Sarah Childs.
• “Women’s Rights in France,” in L. Xixia and L.R. Basta Fleiner (eds), Protection of Women’s Social Rights, Social Sciences Academic Press, 2013: 334-351.
• “Ségolène Royal and Gendered Leadership in France,” in D. Bell and J. Gaffney (eds), The Presidents of the French Fifth Repubic, Palgrave, 2013: 58-77.
• “Parity and Legislative Competence in France,” in S. Francheschet, M. L. Krook and J. Piscopo (eds), The Impact of Gender Quotas: Women’s Descriptive, Substantive and Symbolic Representation, Oxford University Press, 2012: 27-42.
• “Introduction: gender stereotypes and media coverage of women candidates,” in R Murray (ed), Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling: a Global Comparison of Women’s Campaigns for Executive Office, Praeger, 2010: 3-28.
• “A new comparative framework,” Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling, 2010: 223-48.
• “Ségolène Royal: Madonna and Four Children,” Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling, 49-68.

In Progress
• “Transforming Representation?  The Impact of Gender Quotas on the French Parliament." (Monograph)
• “The Substantive Representation of Ethnic Minority Women in France.”
• “Explaining Gender Gaps in Legislative Committees.”
• “Do Gendered Policy Preferences Follow Stereotypes?”
• “Defining and Measuring Men’s Interests.”
• “The Causes and Consequences of Male Over-representation.”  With Elin Bjarnegård.

PhD Supervision

I would be happy to supervise research students in the following areas:

  • Gender and politics
  • Contemporary French politics
  • Political parties, especially in the areas of candidate selection and electoral behaviour
  • Elections, including voter behaviour, electoral systems and electoral forecasting
  • Political executives and legislatures

Current PhD Students:

Gina Floyd (first supervisor), Are Appeals to Human Rights Effective to Feminist Policymaking in the Abortion Debate in Chile?

Jennifer Thomson (first supervisor), The Politics of Abortion Legislation in Contemporary Northern Ireland

Public engagement

Invited Presentations, Consultancy and Media

• Universities : Texas A&M University (TAMU), 2016; Birkbeck, 2015; CEVIPOF, Paris, 2011 and 2015; University College Cork, 2014; University of Amsterdam, 2013; University of Bath, 2013; Bournemouth University, 2013; University of Manchester, 2011; University of Montpellier, 2010; University of Birmingham, 2010; University of Sussex, 2006; Goldsmiths, University of London, 2006

• Conferences and workshops: Women, Gender and Political Leadership Conference, Birkbeck, 2015; Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, 2012; LEGIPAR conference on the French and European Parliaments, Bordeaux, 2011; Workshop on Gender Quotas, Washington University in St. Louis, USA, 2011; French Political Science Association (AFSP) "journées électorales", Paris, 2007

• International organisations: EU-funded Workshop on "Women Into Public Life", Derry, 2012; Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), June 2009; British Council, project on gender politics in Armenia, November 2013; European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), consultant on “Women in Power and Decision-Making”, 2014-5

• Media: Domestic and international television, radio, newspaper and blog commentary, including the BBC, France 24, Sky News and regular contributions to The Economist

Conference Participation

• Co-director of a European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) Joint Sessions workshop on “The Causes and Consequences of Male Over-Representation”, April 2015
• Co-organiser of conference on the 2012 French Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, QMUL, May 2012
• Convenor of conference on "Women in French Politics: still le deuxième sexe?", QMUL, June 2008
• Section convenor of the European Conference on Politics and Gender, Budapest, 2011
• I regularly convene, present, chair and serve as a discussant on panels at conferences including APSA, ECPR (main conference and Joint Sessions), PSA, ECPG and IPSA

Professional Association Activity

• Fellow (by invitation) of the Royal Society of Arts
• Member of the Political Studies Association (PSA) Executive Committee, 2014-15
• Convenor of the PSA Women and Politics Specialist Group, 2008-12
• Founder and convenor, Women in French Politics international research network, 2008-15
• Co-founder and co-convenor of the Men in Politics international research network, 2015+
• Member of the PSA Diversity and Equality Group, 2012-13
• Founding committee member 2004-7, ECPR Graduate Network
• Founder and convenor 2004-7, ECPR Women and Politics graduate section
• Member of APSA, PSA, ECPR and IPSA (including several specialist groups)

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