Women and Political CandidacyEdited by Shauna L. Shames, Rachel I. Bernhard, Mirya R. Holman, and Dawn Langan Teele
After the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, a large cohort of women emerged to run for office. Their efforts changed the landscape of candidates and representation. However, women are still far less likely than men to seek elective office, and face biases and obstacles in campaigns. (Women running for Congress make twice as many phone calls as men to raise the same contributions.)
The editors and contributors to Good Reasons to Run, a mix of scholars and practitioners, examine the reasons why women run—and do not run—for political office. They focus on the opportunities, policies, and structures that promote women’s candidacies. How do nonprofits help recruit and finance women as candidates? And what role does money play in women’s campaigns?
The essays in Good Reasons to Run ask not just who wants to run, but how to activate and encourage such ambition among a larger population of potential female candidates while also increasing the diversity of women running for office.
Contributors: Alejandra Gimenez Aldridge, Georgia Anderson-Nilsson, Chris W. Bonneau, Nadia E. Brown, Rebecca E. Deen, Kesicia Dickinson, Kelly Dittmar, Pearl K. Dowe, Martha C. Johnson, Kristin Kanthak, Christopher F. Karpowitz, Jaclyn J. Kettler, Rebecca Kreitzer, Cecilia Hyunjung Mo, J. Quinn Monson, Malliga Och, Karen O’Connor, Heather L. Ondercin, Tracy Osborn, Jennifer M. Piscopo, Jessica Robinson Preece, Kira Sanbonmatsu, Monica C. Schneider, Jamil Scott, Beth Anne Shelton, Rachel Silbermann, Jennie Sweet-Cushman, Michele L. Swers, Sue Thomas, Danielle M. Thomsen, Catherine Wineinger, Alixandra B. Yanus, and the editors.
"Starting from the premise that more women could and should run for political office, this collection of essays makes a wide-ranging attempt to understand the role, ambition, and strategies of potential female candidates… (T)he analyses provide a nuanced set of arguments about context, strategies, and resources…. (T)he book's treatment is evenhanded, looking at strategies and behavior of both Republicans and Democrats. This collection will be an excellent resource for courses on women and electoral politics…. Summing Up: Highly recommended."
"The volume offers a vast amount of new knowledge, in five key areas, for advancing the literature on women’s political ambition, and it points to specific implications for advocates to implement. This book is commendable for several reasons, in addition to the high-quality chapters, not least of which is that the editors’ expert interweaving of chapters and their section introductions make Good Reasons to Ru n an excellent contemporary handbook on women’s political ambition."
—Perspective on Politics
"(T)he editors assemble a talented group of scholars producing some timely insights into the decision calculus of potential female candidates pondering a run for office.... (A) comprehensive investigation of the topic.... Any close observers of gender in politics should consult this edited volume if they seek to keep up to date on the cutting edge findings regarding what factors will increase female representation in politics. Shames, Bernhard, Holman, and Teele have provided the field a tremendous service by compiling all this crucial evidence in a single comprehensive work. Anyone who reads it will come away with more extensive knowledge about how the electoral playing field can be leveled in order to facilitate gender equality."
—Women, Politics, & Policy
" (T)his book charts a new path for research on women’s political representation. Empirically, the breadth of the book is unparalleled. The authors assemble an excellent team of scholars to investigate this multifaceted research program from a number of different perspectives and approaches.... Good Reasons to Run —a must read for scholars in the field—is an agenda setting volume that has already inspired multiple publications and conversations around the central themes developed in the book. The authors provide keen insights into how we can cultivate more diverse pools of candidates for future U.S. elections."
—Gender and Society
"Good Reasons to Run provides a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of women’s political candidacy from an impressive collection of rising and established gender scholars.... (It) will be of tremendous interest and value to anyone wishing to better understand women’s political candidacy and the challenges and opportunities they will encounter in future election cycles.... The volume contributes meaningfully to our understanding of political candidacy and gender and demonstrates the value of asking relevant questions about the factors that give women a good reason to run for office."
—Politics and Gender