The ECPG Gender & Politics Career Achievement Award

Fiona Mackay.jpegPROFESSOR FIONA MACKAY has made an outstanding contribution to gender and politics research over the past two decades. Mackay’s career and achievements in the field of gender and politics are impressive and her research has spanned across a wide range of topics from ethics of care to political parties, devolution in Scotland, and most recently UN Reform and political settlement in post-conflict countries. 

Most notably, her path-breaking conceptual work on feminist institutionalism has inspired old and new generations of feminist scholars across Europe and beyond. She has developed and driven this research agenda by impactful publications; by co-founding a research network (FIIN) and a book series on Feminist Institutionalist Perspectives for Rowman Littlefield International; and by directing a series of workshops, seminars and panels for different generations of feminist scholars in different continents.

Fiona Mackay has played a pivotal mentorship role to a big group of gender and politics scholars. The way her career, achievements, and support inspire her colleagues was well reflected in the nomination letter of the award.

In the spirit of feminist scholarship, Fiona Mackay has pushed her work to have an impact beyond academia. She has generously given her time and effort to practical reports and advise which, in turn, have moved institutions and politics to more gender equal directions. 

She has also been particularly successful in her academic leadership positions, for instance as a Dean, in advancing gender equality in her university by putting in place a number of measures for inclusive professional cultures and practices.

Congratulations to Professor Fiona Mackay on winning the 2019 Gender and Politics Award! 

2019 Prize Committee: Johanna Kantola (Chair), Karen Beckwith, David Paternotte, Shirin Rai.


Professor Fiona Mackay is a British feminist political scientist whose work examines the ways in which gender inequality is reinforced through political, legal and social institutions. She is interested in the extent to which institutions may be designed or reformed to promote gender justice, inclusion and women’s human rights.  She founded and co-directs the Feminism and Institutionalism International Network (FIIN), an international collaboration which is developing a distinctive approach to the study of gender and politics. She is Professor of Politics at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and directs the University’s new genderED interdisciplinary initiative. She was recently Dean and Head of the School of Social and Political Science (2014-2017) (one of the largest in the UK).  Previously, she served as Director of its Graduate School (2009-12). Fiona was a member of the UK ESRC Virtual Research College (2003-2008),  Case Studentship Panel (2005-07), and inaugural board of the pan-Scottish ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (2011-12). She serves on the editorial boards of Policy and Politics,  Politics, Groups and Identities, and the European Journal of Politics and Gender, and co-edits the  FIIN series Feminist  Institutionalist Perspectives (Rowman Littlefield International). She curates the twitter feed @genderpol. 

Fiona is the author/editor of five books, three special issues/symposia, and more than 50 articles and chapters. Her research has been funded by bodies including UK Economic and Social Research Council, Leverhulme, British Academy, and the UK and Scottish Governments. She has provided research-led policy advice to public and governmental bodies and NGOs since 1997. This includes research advice on the design of equalities machinery and strategies in the run up to, and first years of, post-devolution political institutions in the UK (particularly Scotland), and more recently advice on organisational change to UN Women.  Fiona is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE). An adult returner to higher education, Fiona spent the first decade of her working life as a print and media journalist in the UK.