Karen Celisis research professor at the Department of Political Science, and co-director Research of RHEA (Centre of Expertise Gender Diversity and Intersectionality) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She conducts theoretical and empirical research (qualitative, comparative) on political representation of groups (women, ethnic minorities, class, age groups, LGBT), equality policies and state feminism. She has published in Politics & Gender, Government & Opposition, Representation,Parliamentary Affairs, Publius, West European Politics, Political Studies, Social Politics, Regional and Federal Studies, Comparative European Politics, Journal of Legislative Studies, and Journal of Women, Politics and Policy. She has book chapters in volumes published by Palgrave, Cambridge University Press, Praeger and Oxford University Press. She is co-editor of the forthcoming The Oxford Handbook on Gender and Politics (with Georgina Waylen, Johanna Kantola and Laurel Weldon, Oxford University Press, 2013) and of Gender, Conservatism and Political Representation (with Sarah Childs, ECPR Press, 2014). In her more recent work she investigates the political representation of groups from an explicit intersectional perspective. Intersectionality theory calls for an understanding groups as formed by the intersection of discriminatory mechanisms such as gender, race/ethnicity, class, age, sexual understanding etc. This evidently challenges the concept and praxis of political group representation, as well as the ways to assess the quality thereof. Against this background, Celis investigates the implications of understanding women’s interests as plural, the political inclusion of ethnic minority men and women, and the normative standards for assessing the quality of substantive representation.

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