Ragnhild Louise Muriaas is a Professor in political science at the Department of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen, Norway. Her work focuses on comparative politics within the fields of women's representation, political recruitment, political decentralization and group regcognition in the Global South. Muriaas' key research interest is explaining variation in the inclusionary aspects of African democracies and autocracies. Muriaas has extensive fieldexperience from Cape Verde, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. Muriaas is currently the project leader of Money Talks - Gendered Electoral Financing in Democratic and Democratizing States. The Money Talks project studies the causes and consequences of measures that use economic incentives to acheive gender balance in political recruitment, such as funds targeting women and sanctions on party funding. Muriaas is the author of Manipulating Political Decentralization: Africa's Inclusive Autocrats (2017) - with Lovise Aalen and she has published articles on topics like women's representation, child marriages, political decentralization, gender quotas and elections in authoritarian regimes in amongst other Political Studies, International Political Science Review, Government and Opposition, Journal of Modern African Studies and Democratization.
Comparative Political Institutions
Gender and Politics
Representation and Electoral Systems
State and Local Politics
Gendered Electoral Financing
Muriaas' current research interest is the cost of elections, campaign funding and gender balance in political recruitment. Money is assumingly one of the greatest barriers to women in the political recruitment process. Particularly in candidate-centered electoral system where candidates compete twice: first in the primaries, and then, if they are successful, in elections at the state or national level. The financial disadvantage of women is expected to constitute an obstacle for women´s entry into politics everywhere and especially in developing countries where women´s socio-economic status is disproportionately low relative to men. This line of reasoning has caused a global upswing in financial schemes targeting women candidates, although the scholarship on women´s representation has not followed suit. Studies of gendered electoral financing represents a new research frontier in studying how economic incentives are used to correct for gender imbalance in political recruitment. ncing on the agenda. To what extent are measures that uses economic incentives to change political action, such as funds targeting women and sanctions on party funding, viable alternatives or supplements to gender quotas?Muriaas is interested in studying the drivers behind and effects of international engagement on gender equality. One of the key motivators behind this focus on women's political participation has been the assumption that there is a causal relationship between women's numerical representation on the one hand, and the substantive and symbolic representation of women on the other. Along with researchers such as Liv Tønnessen and Vibeke Wang, Muriaas has studied women's representation in four African cases that have been key recipients of gendered aid the last decade (Malawi, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia). Muriaas main focus in this project has been studying reforms within the area of ending early marriages among key political agents in Zambia and Malawi, as well as, conducting survey experiments on the endorsement effects within reforms on early marriage, gender quotas and land reform in Malawi.