The daddy quota in the Norwegian parental leave arrangement has been the subject of heated public debate. The responses from political actors to a proposal to divide parental leave into three parts, suggested by a government expert committee in 2008, are examined in this article. Inspired by recent contributions from institutional theory conceptualising ideational dimensions of policy processes, the questions addressed are: Which ideas were taken for granted – inherent in the background of the debate? Which ideas were brought to the fore? Were they normative or cognitive? Were they influenced by certain political paradigms?

Keywords: family policy, daddy quota, ideational processes, Norway