On Top of the World: Women's Political Leadership in Scandinavia and Beyond
An examination of the political and social characteristics particular to Scandinavia which have made women's rise to power more rapid than in other regions of the world, this study also explores how the resulting election of women has provided valuable evidence of the impact of women leaders and their leadership style. Solheim begins with a critical survey of feminist scholarship regarding the equality-difference debate and the application of such research on the position of women in international politics. He concludes, in this respect, that leadership style may have less to do with gender than one might initially suspect. Archival research and interviews with women in leadership roles provide the reader with a closer look at the Scandinavian system, a view that will challenge gender stereotypes around the world.
On Top of the World explores the Nordic political systems in great detail and analyzes systemic factors, such as multi-party electoral systems and consensus-seeking cultural institutions, which contribute to the rise of so many women leaders. Solheim compares and contrasts the political rise of two Nordic women leaders to power and influence and, for the purpose of cross-cultural comparison, one woman leader from the developing world. A final chapter ties together the theoretical framework and the case studies to suggest a direction for future research.