Research and Scholarship

CAWP research and research by CAWP scholars that addresses emerging questions about American women's political participation. 







  • A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters



    by Kelly Dittmar, Kira Sanbonmatsu and Susan J. Carroll
    Oxford University Press, 2018, 272 pages

    Drawing on personal interviews with over three-quarters of the women serving in the 114th Congress (2015-17), the authors analyze how these women navigate today's stark partisan divisions, and whether they feel effective in their jobs. Through first-person perspectives, A Seat at the Table looks at what motivates these women's legislative priorities and behavior, details the ways in which women experience service within a male-dominated institution, and highlights why it matters that women sit in the nation's federal legislative chambers. It describes the strategies women employ to overcome any challenges they confront as well as the

    Book
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Impact of Women Public Officials
    Congress






  • The Chisholm Effect: Black Women in American Politics 2018



    By Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    This update from the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) and the Higher Heights Leadership Fund outlines the status of Black women in American politics at the start of 2018.

    Report
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Women of Color in Politics
    Congress
    Statewide Executive
    State Legislature
    Local






  • Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, 4th Edition



    Eds. Susan J. Carroll, CAWP, Rutgers University and Richard L. Fox, Loyola Marymount University
    Cambridge University Press, 2018 Fourth Edition, 319 pages 

    The fourth edition of Gender and Elections highlights the most important developments for women as voters and candidates in the 2012 elections and providing a more long-term, in-depth analysis of the ways that gender has helped shape the contours and outcomes of electoral politics in the United States. Individual chapters demonstrate the importance of gender in understanding and interpreting presidential elections, voter participation and turnout, voting choices, congressional elections, the participation of African American women, the support of political parties and women's organizations, candidate communications with voters, and state

    Book
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Political Parties
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Women of Color in Politics
    Women Voters and the Gender Gap
    State Legislature
    Statewide Executive
    Congress
    Federal Executive






  • Women Candidates in Election 2018: One Year from Election Day



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    Has there been a “surge” of women running for office after election 2016? With one year until the 2018 elections, we took a look at the numbers of women candidates to assess the degree to which media narratives about, and anecdotal evidence of, women’s heightened political engagement have translated into bids for office. In comparing the numbers of women running this cycle with the number at this point in previous cycles, we find that there are more women running for office in 2018, but that the increases in candidacies vary by level of office. 

    Fact Sheet
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    A Closer Look
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Statewide Executive
    Congress






  • Black Women in American Politics: 2017 Status Update



    By Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D. 

    This update highlights the key wins for women of color overall – and Black women in particular - in election 2016. The data demonstrate that, even with the gains Black women saw at some levels of office in 2016, there is more work to do to ensure that Black women’s representation in elected office reflects their presence in American society. 

    Report
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Women of Color in Politics
    Congress
    Statewide Executive
    State Legislature
    Local






  • Women Running in 2017: Assessing NJ and VA State Legislative Elections



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.

    In our post-primary analysis, we find evidence that more Democratic women are running in 2017 state legislative races than in recent years, but many of them will have to defeat strong incumbents to win. This is particularly true in Virginia, a state where Republicans hold both legislative chambers. In New Jersey, where Democrats control the state legislature, there are fewer opportunities for Democratic challengers, and thus a less significant increase in the number of women nominees in 2017. 

    Fact Sheet
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    A Closer Look
    Political Parties
    Candidates and Campaigns
    State Legislature






  • Representation Matters: Women in the U.S. Congress



    by Kelly Dittmar, Kira Sanbonmatsu, Susan J. Carroll, Debbie Walsh, and Catherine Wineinger
    Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 2017, 56 pages.

    This CAWP report takes stock of the experiences, perspectives, approaches, and influence of women in the U.S. Congress. Drawing upon the CAWP Study of Women in the 114th Congress, entailing original interviews with 83 of the 108 women who served as Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in the 114th Congress (2015-2016), it shows that women members on both sides of the aisle very much believe that their presence and their voices matter. The interviews provide considerable evidence of women's achievements despite the overall environment of gridlock and party polarization in which the women in Congress operate.

    Report
    Research
    CAWP Scholar
    Political Parties
    Women of Color in Politics
    Impact of Women Public Officials
    Congress






  • Finding Gender in Election 2016



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.
    Published by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation (BLFF) and the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)

    In April 2015, BLFF and CAWP launched Presidential Gender Watch 2016, a project to track, analyze, and illuminate gender dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. With the help of expert scholars and practitioners, PGW worked for 21 months to further public understanding of how gender influences candidate strategy, voter engagement and expectations, media coverage, and electoral outcomes in campaigns for the nation’s highest executive office. This report outlines key ways in which gender was at play in the presidential election.

    Report
    Research
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Federal Executive






  • Finding Gender in Election 2016: Highlights



    by Kelly Dittmar, Ph.D.
    Published by the Barbara Lee Family Foundation (BLFF) and the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)

    Highlights from the report about Presidential Gender Watch 2016, a project to track, analyze, and illuminate gender dynamics in the 2016 presidential election. With the help of expert scholars and practitioners, PGW worked for 21 months to further public understanding of how gender influences candidate strategy, voter engagement and expectations, media coverage, and electoral outcomes in campaigns for the nation’s highest executive office. 

    Report
    Research
    Candidates and Campaigns
    Federal Executive