I studied political science in Brussels, at both the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Université libre Bruxelles, and social geography in Amsterdam, at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. In 2002 I obtained my Ph.D. at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, went to the Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen for a post-doctoral research project, and joined the department of Political Science at the Universiteit Antwerpen as an Assistant Professor in 2006. In the period 2009-2016 I directed the Flemish Policy Research Centre on Equality Policies; from 2010-2016 I chaired Sophia, the Belgian association of gender studies, together with Stéphanie Loriaux; and in 2018 I founded A*, the Antwerp Gender&Sexuality Studies Network, together with my colleague Alexander Dhoest. More recently, my attention shifted to strategic management as I got elected to the Executive Committee of the European Consortium for Political Research in Spring 2018 and serve as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences since October 2018.

My research focuses on issues of equality and diversity, mainly – but not exclusively – from a gender perspective, on how inequality gets produced and reproduced, and on what contributes to fostering equality in a more sustainable way. It looks into the representation of gender in politics and policies. I study questions of democracy and representation; electoral systems and their degree of inclusiveness; electoral system design and gender quotas; symbolic representation and its connection with other dimensions of representation; the pros and cons of political role models; the inclusiveness of public policies, their framing, discursive constructions and design; the gendering of public policies, especially through gender impact assessment and discursive practices; the Belgian women’s movement and women’s policy agencies; issues of inequality in multi-level systems, especially federations; and the gendering of political spaces and how this shapes power relations.