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School of Politics and International Relations

Professor Rainbow Murray, BA (Manchester), MRes (London), PhD (London)


Professor of Politics

Telephone: 020 7882 8432
Room Number: Arts One, 2.22
Office Hours: Wednesdays 10:45am-11:45am (F2F & Online) & Fridays 10am-11am (Online)


Prof. Rainbow Murray is an expert on representation, political institutions, gender and diversity, with particular expertise in French and British politics. She has been at QMUL since 2007, during which time she has also held visiting fellowships at the London School of Economics, the Centre for Research on French Politics (CEVIPOF Paris), and the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris). She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Rainbow’s major publications include three books, and articles in journals including the American Political Science Review, West European Politics, the Political Research Quarterly, Party Politics, and Politics & Gender. From 2011-15 she co-edited the European Journal of Political Research Political Data Yearbook. Her current projects include work on political renewal in the French parliament, the substantive representation of men in politics, and the representation of parents in parliament. Her research has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the Research Council of Norway, the British Academy and the City of Paris.

Rainbow loves talking about her research and sharing her expertise. She has provided expert consultancy to bodies such as the European Union, British Council and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and commentary to a variety of domestic and international print and broadcast media. She has given talks at conferences, university seminars and public events around the world and always relishes the opportunity to exchange ideas with others. She also greatly enjoys teaching, and was honoured to receive prestigious teaching awards from Queen Mary in 2010 and 2012. She welcomes applications from prospective PhD students within her research areas, broadly defined.

Rainbow is the Faculty Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. She was also the first Senior Diversity Lead at Queen Mary (2014-6), advising and consulting on equality and diversity issues at every level of the university. She has offered service to her profession in a number of ways, from convening several research networks to serving on the executive committee of the Political Studies Association.
More information about Rainbow’s research can be found on her website ( and you can also follow her on twitter (@rainbowmurray).

To arrange an advice & feedback hour, please click here.


On research leave Semester A.

Undergraduate Teaching

POL361 Gender and Politics (Semester B)


Research Interests:

My primary research interests lie in political representation, gender and politics, candidate selection, French and comparative politics, political parties, parliaments and elections. I am currently completing a major project examining the impact of gender quotas on parliamentary representation, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the City of Paris. I have recently completed a project look at the gendered costs of contesting elections, as part of an international team. I am also developing two new projects. The first looks at the political representation of men's interests. The second looks at parenthood in politics, understanding why it is so difficult to juggle politics with family life and what repercussions this has for representation.

I am the co-convenor (with Elin Bjarnegård and Kathleen Starck) of an international research network on Political Masculinites. This network brings together scholars interested in the study of men as gendered political actors. I am also the co-convenor (with Emily St Denny and Françoise Boucek) of the PSA French Politics and Policy group.



Gendered Electoral Financing: Money, Power and Representation in Comparative Perspective (Routledge), co-edited with Ragnhild Muriaas and Vibeke Wang, 2019.

Parties, Gender Quotas and Candidate Selection in France (Palgrave MacMillan), 2010.

Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling: a Global Comparison of Women’s Campaigns for Executive Office (Praeger), ed, 2010.

Journal Editorials

Special issue: “Gender and Political Financing”, International Political Science Review, 2021 (with Ragnhild Muriaas and Vibeke Wang)

Special Issue: “Critical Perspectives on Men and Masculinities in Politics”, Politics & Gender 14(2): 264-293, 2018 (with Elin Bjarnegård).

Co-editor of the European Journal of Political Research Political Data Yearbook (2011-15)

Special Issue: “The French Presidential and Legislative Elections 2012”, Parliamentary Affairs 66(1), 2013 (with Raymond Kuhn)

Special Issue: “Women in French Politics”, Modern and Contemporary France 18(4): 411-503, 2010

Symposium on “Forecasting the French 2007 Elections", French Politics 6(2): 103-165, 2008

Journal Articles

“It’s a Rich Man’s World: How Class and Glass Ceilings Intersect for UK Parliamentary Candidates.” International Political Science Review 2021.

“Editorial Introduction: Gender and Political Financing” (with Ragnhild Muriaas and Vibeke Wang). International Political Science Review 2021.

“Explaining Gender Gaps in Legislative Committees” (with Réjane Sénac). Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, 39(3): 310-335, 2018.

“Revisiting Forms of Representation by Critically Examining Men” (with Elin Bjarnegård). Politics & Gender 14(2): 265-270, 2018.

“The Political Representation of Ethnic Minority Women in France.” Parliamentary Affairs, 69(3): 586-602, 2016.

“What Makes a Good Politician? Reassessing the Criteria Used for Political Recruitment.” Politics & Gender, 11(4): 770-6, 2015.

“Political Data in 2013” (with Andreas Bågenholm and Kevin Deegan-Krause). European Journal of Political Research Political Data Yearbook53 (1): 1-15, 2014.

“Quotas for Men? Reframing Gender Quotas as a Means of Improving Representation for All.” American Political Science Review, 108(3): 520-532, 2014.

“Quotas, Citizens, and Norms of Representation.” Politics & Gender, 9(3): 304-309, 2013.

“No Longer the Laggard – How France Leapfrogged the UK for Women’s Representation.” Renewal20(4): 48-56, 2013.

“Towards Parity Democracy? Gender Parity in the 2012 French Legislative Elections.” Parliamentary Affairs66(1): 197-212, 2013.

“The French Presidential and Parliamentary Elections” (with Raymond Kuhn). Parliamentary Affairs 66(1): 1-16, 2013.

"Why are Gender Quotas Adopted? Party Pragmatism and Parity in France" (with Mona Lena Krook and Katherine Opello). Political Research Quarterly 65(3): 529-43, 2012.

"Parity in France: A Dual-Track Solution to Women's Under-Representation." West European Politics 35(2): 343-61, 2012

“Political Data in 2011” (with Daniele Caramani and Kevin Deegan-Krause). European Journal of Political Research 51(7-8): 3-23, 2012.

“Progress but Still No Présidente: Women and the French Presidential Elections.” French Politics, Culture and Society 30(3): 45-60, 2012.

“French Lesson: What the UK can Learn from the French Experiment with Gender Parity.” Political Quarterly 83(3): 735-41, 2012.

"Political Data in 2010" (with Daniele Caramani and Kevin Deegan-Krause). European Journal of Political Research 50(7-8): 869-87, 2011.

"Women in French Politics: Still le deuxième sexe?" Modern & Contemporary France 18(4): 411-4,

"Linear Trajectories or Vicious Circles? The Causes and Consequences of Gendered Career Paths in the National Assembly." Modern and Contemporary France 18(4): 445-59, 2010.

"Second Among Unequals? A Study of Whether France's 'Quota Women' are Up to the Job." Politics and Gender 6(1): 93-118, 2010.

"Was 2007 a Landmark or a Letdown for Women's Political Representation in France?" Representation45(1): 29-38, 2009.

"Fifty years of Feminising France's Fifth Republic." Modern & Contemporary France 16(4): 469-82, 2008.

"The Power of Sex and Incumbency: a Longitudinal Study of Electoral Performance in France." Party Politics 14(5): 539-54, 2008.

"Is the Mere Presence of a Strong Female Candidate Enough to Increase the Substantive Representation of Women?" Parliamentary Affairs 61(3): 476-89,

"How a High Proportion of Candidates Becomes a Low Proportion of Députées: A New Model to Forecast Women’s Electoral Performance in French Legislative Elections." French Politics 6(2): 152-65, 2008.

"Introduction: Symposium on Forecasting the French 2007 Elections." French Politics 6(2): 103-5, 2008.

"How Parties Evaluate Compulsory Quotas: A Study of the Implementation of the 'Parity' Law in France." Parliamentary Affairs 60(4): 568-84, 2007.

"Why Didn't Parity Work? A Closer Examination of the 2002 Election Results." French Politics 2(3): 347-62, 2004.

Book chapters

“All Change? Partisan Realignment and Parliamentary Reform under Macron”, in H. Drake, A. Cole, S. Meunier and V. Tiberj (eds), Developments in French Politics 6, Palgrave, 2020: 57-76.

“Introducing the Concept of Electoral Financing”, in R. Muriaas, V. Wang and R. Murray (eds), Gendered Electoral Financing: Money, Power and Representation in Comparative Perspective, Routledge, 2019: 1-24. With Ragnhild Muriaas and Vibeke Wang

“Mapping ‘Feminist’ Demands Across the French Politics Spectrum,” in K. Celis and S. Childs (eds), Gender, Conservatism and Political Representation, ECPR press, 2014: 231-50. With Réjane Sénac.

“Gender and Party Politics,” in S. Childs and R. Campbell (eds), Deeds and Words: Gendering Politics after Joni Lovenduski, ECPR press, 2014: 73-90. With Sarah Childs.

“Women’s Rights in France,” in L. Xixia and L.R. Basta Fleiner (eds), Protection of Women’s Social Rights, Social Sciences Academic Press, 2013: 334-351.

“Ségolène Royal and Gendered Leadership in France,” in D. Bell and J. Gaffney (eds), The Presidents of the French Fifth Repubic, Palgrave, 2013: 58-77.

“Parity and Legislative Competence in France,” in S. Francheschet, M. L. Krook and J. Piscopo (eds), The Impact of Gender Quotas: Women’s Descriptive, Substantive and Symbolic Representation, Oxford University Press, 2012: 27-42.

“Introduction: gender stereotypes and media coverage of women candidates,” in R Murray (ed), Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling: a Global Comparison of Women’s Campaigns for Executive Office, Praeger, 2010: 3-28.

“A new comparative framework,” Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling, 2010: 223-48.

“Ségolène Royal: Madonna and Four Children,” Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling, 49-68.


I would be happy to supervise research students in the following areas:

  • Gender and politics
  • Contemporary French politics
  • Political parties, especially in the areas of candidate selection and electoral behaviour
  • Elections, including voter behaviour, electoral systems and electoral forecasting
  • Political executives and legislatures

Current and former PhD Students:

Isaac Wangunyu. Political Experience, Pre-Parliamentary Careers, Parties’ Selection Procedures and Effects on Legislative Behaviour Among Members of the East African Legislative Assembly.

Farah Hussain. Muslim Women and the Labour Party.

Laura Richards-Gray (completed 2019). What Role do Public Attitudes Towards Welfare Play in Embedding and Perpetuating Gender Inequality in the Welfare State? 

Emily Pfefer (completed 2019). The Cloak of Silence: A Critical Analysis of the Relationship Between the Culture of Pay Secrecy and the Gender Pay Gap in UK Higher Education.

Gina Floyd (completed 2015). Are Appeals to Human Rights Effective to Feminist Policymaking in the Abortion Debate in Chile?

Jennifer Thomson (completed 2016). The Politics of Abortion Legislation in Contemporary Northern Ireland




  • Leverhulme Research Fellowship (£44,932), March 2010. 'The impact of gender quotas on parliamentary representation.'
  • "Research in Paris" grant (€15,000), May 2010, to support six months of fieldwork as a fellow at the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris, January-June 2011.
  • Drapers' Award for Excellence in Teaching (£1500), Queen Mary, University of London, June 2010.

  • Drapers' Award for Teaching, Queen Mary, University of London, March 2012.
  • British Academy Small Research Grant (£4092), January 2009. 'Electoral forecasting in France'. Jocelyn Evans is the Principal Investigator. Other members of the team are Vincent Tiberj, Nicolas Sauger, Gilles Ivaldi and Kai Arzheimer.
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