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About the project

The European Research Council (ERC) funded research project “Gender-Gap in Political Endurance: a novel political inclusion theory” (SUCCESS) provides a comprehensive analysis of why, how and if structural factors affect the endurance of political careers and why endurance matter for political impact.   

The five years ERC Consolidator Grant project (2021-2026) is led by Professor Ragnhild Muriaas. It is located at the Department of Government, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bergen, Norway. Dr Vibeke Wang is a Senior Researcher in the Project, Dr Francesca Feo and Dr Torill Stavenes are Postdoctoral Researchers, and Seréna Nilsson Rabia and Ida-Elise Seppola Asplund are the PhD candidates.     

SUCCESS will advance a novel theory of inclusion that explains gender-gaps in endurance and provide much-needed new empirical evidence on how, why and under what conditions gender-gaps in political endurance can be closed in a world with high electoral volatility.


  • How does political endurance matter for political outcomes?  

  • What strategies do elected representatives use to sustain their political careers? 

  • How do voters evaluate political experience – when is it good and when is it bad?  

  • Are there specific institutions and contexts that underpin gender-gaps in political endurance across time, regions, and political systems?   


To answer these questions, SUCCESS make use of several different methods to study representatives and their political networks. At the first stage of the process, in-depth studies will be carried out in France, Norway, and the United States, and these will be complimented with studies of a couple of other cases as well as a larger cross-country macro study.     

SUCCESS thus offers a comprehensive perspective, highlighting the interconnections between these four questions in a novel theory of political inclusion: Rather than focusing on what excludes women from political office, the project explores what contributes to their SUCCESS.  

By explaining gender-gaps in political endurance SUCCESS (1) will give relevant insights to studies about inequalities in political representation, including those focusing on class, ethnicity, and age (2), which in turn, will inform studies of challenges to democratic processes in the 21st century, as well as (3) feed critical findings into global debates about why, how and under what conditions gender equality is in the best interest of society. 

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