• 210 pages
  • 5.5 x 8.25
  • 20 tables, 27 figures
  • Price: $80.50
  • EAN: 9781439911709
  • Publication: Nov 2014
  • Price: $80.50
  • EAN: 9781439911723
  • Publication: Nov 2014

Women in Politics in the American City

Mirya R. Holman


"Women in Politics in the American City systematically examines an important question—the impact of gender on municipal government—in a far-reaching way and at a time when we may expect women to be more likely to enter politics in the near future. The findings are compelling and represent a developing area in the scholarship on representation from a democratic theory perspective. There is simply no other work that examines women at this level of government so thoroughly." Melissa Deckman, Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs and Chair of the Political Science Department at Washington College in Maryland

"Holman poses an unusual question on a topic few have studied: Does electing women to municipal office make a difference in policy decisions? The author answers that women mayors and council members bring a neglected perspective to policymaking and support women’s issues...more frequently than men in local office.... Holman’s research relies on interviews and surveys, and the book is replete with tables and diagrams, copious notes, an extensive bibliography, and several appendixes." —Library Journal

"The underrepresentation of women in American politics at both the state and national levels has been addressed by many scholars.... In this extraordinarily researched work, Holman extends this line of inquiry to American city politics.... Holman employs rich survey, interview, and textual data to help us understand the ways in which female leaders at local levels make a difference in urban politics.... The book impressively speaks to an important issue in political science with both methodological rigor and a clear-cut analytical framework.... Holman shows us directly that women can make a positive difference in local politics." —Political Science Quarterly

"Using surveys, interviews, and observations of council meetings, Holman analyzes whether gender matters in the policies local governments pursue. She finds that 'women's issues'—such as education, social welfare, and violence against women—are more likely to be high on the public’s agenda when women lead cities, especially when female mayors are supported by high proportions of women on city councils. In contrast, men tend to focus on development and crime.... Holman offers a meaningful analysis of how gender impacts local policy.... Summing Up: Recommended." Choice

"Women in Politics in the American City is a welcome addition to the literature on women elected officials in the United States. Holman tackles the formidable empirical challenge of studying women in local government, while providing a useful reminder of the historic connection between women’s activism and commitment to 'municipal housekeeping.' Drawing on a variety of sources, Holman systematically and carefully examines the role of female mayors and their impact on policymaking at the municipal level.... (T)his book offers concrete evidence of the significant consequences of women’s representation in local government." Journal of Women, Politics & Policy

"Holman reminds us of the long history of American women’s activism and influence on a variety of 'urban women’s issues' concerning children and education, welfare and poverty, affordable housing, and violence against women. Then, by rallying a veritable treasure trove of original data, she shows how women holding local office in 21st century America carry on in this tradition.... Holman’s contribution is not simply a thoroughly vetted and unexpected new 'data point' demonstrating the impact of women in public office. Rather, her analysis is most interesting when she cautions against overly simplistic theories of descriptive and substantive representation and argues that 'sheer numbers' of women in local office is often not enough." —Perspectives on Politics

About the Author(s)

Mirya R. Holman is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University.