Women Take Their Place in State Legislatures

The Creation of Women’s Caucuses

Anna Mitchell Mahoney
Book Cover

PB: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1597-4
Publication: Nov 18

HC: $99.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1596-7
Publication: Nov 18

Ebook: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1598-1
Publication: Nov 18

258 pages
5.5 x 8.25
19 tables, 2 maps

Investigating the opportunities, resources, and frames that women utilize to create legislative caucuses

Read Chapter 1 (pdf).

Description

How do women strategically make their mark on state legislatures? Anna Mitchell Mahoney’s book traces the development of women’s state legislative caucuses and the influence both gender and party have on women’s ability to organize collectively. She provides a comprehensive analysis of how and why women organize around their gender identity in state legislatures—or why they do not.

Women Take Their Place in State Legislatures includes a quantitative analysis of institutional-level variables and caucus existence in all 50 states. Case studies of caucus attempts in New Jersey, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Iowa between 2006 and 2010 examine attempts at creating women’s caucuses that succeeded or failed, and why. Mahoney’s interviews with 180 state legislators and their staff explore the motivations of caucus creators and participants. Ultimately, she finds that women’s organizing is contextual; it demonstrates the dynamic nature of gender.

Mahoney also provides insights into broad questions regarding gendered institutions, collective action, and political party governance. Women Take Their Place in State Legislatures fills a lacuna in the evaluation of women in government.

Reviews

“Anna Mitchell Mahoney’s study of women’s caucuses fills an important gap in the literature on state legislatures and identity caucuses. Drawing on a rich body of qualitative data and 180 personal interviews with legislators, Mahoney elaborates the factors—both social and legislative—that motivate the women who join and lead these caucuses. Her careful exploration of the emergence and demise of women’s legislative caucuses also underscores the divisive partisanship that has come to dominate state legislatures as it has the U.S. Congress. Women Take Their Place in State Legislatures offers important lessons for students, scholars, and practitioners alike.”
Cindy Simon Rosenthal, former Director of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center and Presidential Professor Emeritus, University of Oklahoma, and author of When Women Lead: Integrative Leadership in State Legislatures

Women Take Their Place in State Legislatures is a strong, interesting, original work that fits perfectly within the trajectory of research on women and legislatures. Mahoney’s case studies of caucus formation are particularly compelling, completely unique, well-executed, and rich in detail. Her comparative design offers real ideas about why caucus formation succeeds and fails.”
Tracy Osborn, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Iowa, and author of How Women Represent Women: Political Parties, Gender, and Representation in the State Legislatures

Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
  1. Women Take Their Place in Legislatures
  2. Many Paths to Yes: The Creation of Women’s Caucuses
  3. For Women, There Is No One Way or Place to Caucus
  4. The New Jersey Women’s Legislative Caucus
  5. The Colorado Women’s Legislative Caucus
  6. The Pennsylvania Attempt
  7. The Iowa Attempt
  8. Explaining Women’s Caucuses Notes
    Cited Interviews
    References
    Index

About the Author(s)

Anna Mitchell Mahoney is an Administrative Assistant Professor of Women’s Political Leadership at Tulane University’s Newcomb College Institute.


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