Diffusion may be seen logically as both an external and internal processes. In the first case, external factors influence the domestic affairs of a state. In the second it is a subfield of linkage politics, where both internal and external events interact within a state (True and Mintrom, 2001; Piatti-Crocker, 2011). Thus, an appropriate explanation of diffusion should be given in terms both of the unit of analysis (e.g. states, individuals, or groups of individuals) and the social structures in which these units are embedded (e.g. world or regional systems). This research claims that since the 1990s two policy waves have spread in Latin America in a relatively short period of time. The first one after the adoption of gender quota legislation in Argentina in 1991, which led to a “take-off point” for the sort of “bandwagon effect” (Kingdon, 1995) that led to a quota movement in the region and to the adoption of similar (though not identical) gender quota laws in seventeen other Latin American countries. Within the first decade of this millennium, a second wave began taking hold in Latin America, leading this time, to the adoption of gender parity legislation in seven countries, also with some variance. Both waves are still on-going but parity has become a more dominant trend.

Author Biography

Dr. Adriana Piatti-Crocker is Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois, Springfield. Dr. Piatti-Crocker has published extensively on gender and politics at national and subnational levels in Argentina (her native country) and on gender policy diffusion in Latin America. Her most recent book, “Gender Quotas in South America’s Big Three: National and Subnational Impacts” (with Gregory Schmidt and Clara Araújo) focuses on policies intended to promote the inclusion of women in Latin America’s legislatures, and their effects.