The Impact of Women in Public Office

ISBN 13: 9780253214881

The Impact of Women in Public Office

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9780253214881: The Impact of Women in Public Office

"[A] well-integrated volume by...one of the best known political scientists working on women and politics.... [It] includes contributions by leading scholars in the field, and provides a well-written and accessible overview of the impact of women in office at
every level..." —Pippa Norris, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"This [book] will be the standard-bearer not simply because it contains most of the early research in the field but more importantly, because of the wide-ranging scope and diversity of the research and the subsequently nuanced and contextualized arguments presented."-Beth Reingold, Emory University

In recent years the numbers of women serving in public offices at various levels of government have increased markedly. Is the increasing presence of women in public office making a difference? Are women public officials having a distinctive impact on public policy and the political process? These questions are central to the studies in The Impact of Women in Public Office.

These studies examine the impact of women public officials serving in various offices and locales at local, state, and national levels. They are the product of a large, coordinated research project sponsored by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University and funded by the Charles H. Revson Foundation. The subjects of these studies range from a single, very prominent U.S. Senator, who served in Congress from the early 1940s to the early 1970s, to local council members in a New Jersey county in the 1980s. They include state legislators from across the country.

The research presented in this volume offers compelling evidence that women public officials do have a gender-related impact on public policy and the political process. Nevertheless, context matters; these studies demonstrate that the impact of women public officials varies considerably across political environments. Finally, the research in this volume suggests that identification with feminism and/or of particular racial or ethnic group also influence how and to what extent women public officials are making a difference.

Contributors include Edith J. Barrett, Susan Abrams Beck, Janet K. Boles, Susan J. Carroll, Debra L. Dodson, Lyn Kathlene, Elaine Martin, Nancy E. McGlen, Meredith Reid Sarkees, Janann Sherman, Sue Thomas, Sue Tolleson-Rinehart, and Susan Welch.

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About the Author:

Susan J. Carroll is Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University and Senior Research Associate at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) of the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She is the author of numerous works on women's political participation, including Women as Candidates in American Politics (Indiana University Press, 2nd ed., 1994). Her current research focuses on the impact of women in Congress, media coverage of women voters and candidates, and the effect of term limits on the representation of women in state legislatures.

From Library Journal:

The 11 essays in this collection, written primarily by academic political scientists, emerge from a research project sponsored by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University. The individual pieces, selected by Carroll, a senior research associate at CAWP, examine the roles of women as state legislators, mayors, political appointees, and judges and look at the impact of both political context and self-conscious feminist identity on their performance. The research demonstrates that women in public office do take a more active role in fostering measures to further women's interests and that feminist public officials especially African American women are most likely to undertake action on behalf of women and minorities. However, hostile environments and a paucity of female colleagues can inhibit this impulse. Rare for a collection of this kind, the articles are uniformly strong well written, well organized, and accessible even to high school students, who can easily skip the more abstruse methodological sections. Recommended for all academic and most public libraries. Cynthia Harrison, George Washington Univ., Washington, DC
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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