Priority Areas

Priority 1: Leading with Intersectionality  

While much scholarship and practice focuses on identifying and addressing barriers and opportunities to women’s political power, there remains a dearth of work that adopts and integrates intersectionality as a key framework for research and analysis. We seek proposals that both expand and enrich existing scholarship to interrogate the following questions with particular attention to the distinct realities for Black women, Latinas, Asian or Pacific Islander women, Native American, and multiracial women.

  • In what ways do media, money, and/or parties act as help or hindrance to women candidate emergence and/or success?

  • What are the effects of gender, race, and party on candidate evaluation? How do (or should) differences in candidate evaluation influence electoral strategy and/or success?

  • What are the social, political, policy, structural, and/or institutional effects of gender and racial (in)equality in the distribution of political power in U.S. politics?

Priority 2: Expanding Research Focus

We seek research proposals that address neglected barriers to and opportunities for women’s political power in the United States. More specifically:

  • What are the levels of, barriers to, and influence of women’s political power in unelected roles (e.g. staff, practitioners, appointees, activists) in U.S. politics? How might political power be expanded for women in and through these roles?

  • What are the levels of, barriers to, and influence of women’s political power in local offices across the U.S.?

  • What evidence exists for increasing women’s political power by changing rules and/or processes in U.S. political institutions? How do these changes affect women of different groups (e.g. racial/ethnic, age, party, sexual orientation, gender identity), at different levels, and in different political roles?

  • How does the online harassment of women candidates and elected officials harm women's political involvement? What can be done to combat this harassment?

Priority 3: Meeting the Moment

There is no separating the U.S. political environment from the current cultural, economic, and health crises. Research must both meet and assess this moment, with specific attention to how the COVID-19 pandemic recovery and continued reckoning with systemic racism, including a rise in anti-Asian hate, affect or are affected by women’s political engagement and leadership. Research proposals might address the following sets of questions.

  • The concurrent health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have had a disproportionate impact on women. What role does women’s political engagement and/or activism play in pandemic recovery efforts? And, more specifically, how have women, as community leaders and public officials, shaped the public response to COVID-19? What does the pandemic teach us about women's leadership and the consequences of women's political underrepresentation?

  • The activism of #BlackLivesMatter and broader anti-racist movements, including Asian American activism, is altering the political landscape. What role do women play within these movements and in what ways do these movements alter interest in or access to elective office, particularly local office, for women who are members of historically marginalized racial groups?


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