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The Impact of Women in Public Office

The Impact of Women in Public Office (Paperback)

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Synopsis

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, co-ordinated research project sponsored by the Centre 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.

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.

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