Gender and Status in American Political Science: Who Determines Whether a Scholar Is Noteworthy?

Karen J. Alter, Jean Clipperton, Emily Schraudenbach, Laura Rozier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We investigate gender disparities in status construction in American political science, focusing on three questions: 1) Do institutions within the discipline of political science-including departments, APSA, editorial boards, and academic honor societies-reflect or remedy gender disparities that exist in many forms of recognition, including appointments to top leadership and citations? 2) Are institutions with centralized and accountable appointment mechanisms less gender skewed compared to networked and decentralized selection processes where implicit bias may go unchecked? 3) Does leaning in help? Does the effort of women to publish and to claim a seat at leadership tables increase the likelihood that higher-level status positions will follow? We find that the distribution of highest-status positions is still gender skewed, that women are over-represented in positions that involve more service than prestige, that leaning in by serving as section chair, on editorial boards, or on academic councils is not necessarily a gateway to higher-status appointments, and that accountability promotes greater gender parity. The study raises questions about the goal of gender parity when it comes to lower-status service, and about the types of contributions our discipline rewards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1048-1067
Number of pages20
JournalPerspectives on Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender and Status in American Political Science: Who Determines Whether a Scholar Is Noteworthy?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this