The subject of The Politics of Prostitution is not really prostitution politics. Instead, the research collected here seeks to answer the questions ‘Do women’s policy agencies matter?’ and ‘Is there such a thing as state feminism?’ The Research Network on Gender Politics and the State (RNGS) has been studying these questions since 1995 in ‘Western political democracies’; prostitution is only one of five issues which members have used to measure the impact of women’s movements for equality. By the term ‘women’s movements’, the researchers mean a range of organisations and groups, both grassroots and formal, which may or may not self-identify as feminist. By ‘women’s policy agencies’, they refer to government institutions which exist to advance women’s status in society. These definitions are key to appreciating the book.