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The Motherless StateWomen's Political Leadership and American Democracy$
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Eileen McDonagh

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226514543

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226514567.001.0001

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Generating Public Attitudes

Generating Public Attitudes

(p.59) 3 Generating Public Attitudes
The Motherless State
University of Chicago Press

The traditional model of how public policies are generated is citizen-centered. Public attitudes toward citizens are the source of public policies, which can teach citizens about government and about their relation to the public sphere of political governance. The significance of public attitudes for explaining voting behavior is a precept of electoral politics. From a state-centered perspective, public policies teach the public about who are suitable as participants in the political governance of the state. Public policies representing individualism have a positive impact on public attitudes about women's suitability as political leaders. Maternal public policies in democracies exert a powerful feedback impact on public attitudes about women's capabilities as political leaders. Rather than fearing maternalism, much less individualism, what benefits women is a state that represents both.

Keywords:   maternal public policies, public policies, political governance, electoral politics, individualism, women, maternalism

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