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Models and Methods | Political Science | Public Administration


Coalitional presidentialism is a power-sharing strategy deployed in multiparty presidentialist democracies that entails the distribution of cabinet positions to coalition partners to facilitate governability. This model of governance is increasingly common worldwide, gaining growing scholarly interest. The consequences of coalitional presidentialism for women’s cabinet representation, however, have received scant attention. In this article, we provide a gendered analysis of the Brazilian experience with coalitional presidentialism. Through the quantitative analysis of an original dataset of all ministerial appointments (N = 597) under eight Brazilian presidents (1985–2019) and a descriptive assessment of the coalitional dynamics during that period, we evaluate the Brazilian experience with coalitional presidentialism through the lens of Feminist Institutionalism. We show that coalitional presidentialism restricts women's access to cabinet seats, with the demands of multiparty coalition formation and management often overriding presidential considerations about descriptive representation, and coalition parties rarely advancing women to fill portfolios allocated to them by the president.