Annesley research focuses on gender, politics and policy. She is on the Management Committee of the UK Women's Budget Group and contributes to their analysis of the impact of economic policy and changes and tax and benefits on gender equality.
Uses a feminist institutionalist approach to explain gendered access to cabinets. Identifies the three complexes of predominantly informal rules that facilitate and constrain women’s access that that women’s access to ministerial office.
Investigates the factors that drive governments to pay attention to gender equality issues and place them upon executive agendas. Argues that policy issues related to gender equality are multidimensional and patterns in executive attention vary across the different types of gender issues.