Skip to main content

Maarja Lühiste

Researching gender and political representation: why it makes sense to use quantitative methods sometimes

Maarja is a senior lecturer in Politics and her main research fields include gender and political communication, comparative politics and elections, and survey research. She is particularly interested in how different institutions - such as political parties, media (both traditional and new media), and electoral rules - either facilitate or hinder women’s representation across contexts and how citizens respond to that.

Amongst a number of other projects, Maarja is currently working on a project called 'Human after all?’, which focuses on how lived experiences of politicians may have influenced how they communicated on Twitter about Covid-19 pandemic and the related lockdown rules and regulations. This includes questions such as, ‘were politicians who were parents with young kids more critical of school/day-care closures than of other restrictions?’.

Employing quantitative methods to researching gender, Maarja’s approach is different from most of the other gender researchers I interviewed. Because of her choice to use quantitative methods to study the impact of gender in the process of political representation, Maarja had some challenging moments when her research has been questioned. Maarja wishes that there was broader acceptance of various approaches and methods, as well as recognition that questions about gender can be answered using different methods and approaches. She thinks feminist researchers should use quantitative methods and make them better.

Watch the video below, to listen to Maarja’s research experience and if you’d like to read more about Maarja’s research or get in touch with her, you can check out her university staff profile.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences