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Professor Karen Beckwith

Case Western Reserve University, USA

Karen Beckwith is the Flora Stone Mather Professor in the Department of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University.  She received her B.A. from the University of Kentucky (1972) and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Syracuse University (1977, 1982). Teaching primarily in the areas of US politics, political movements, and women, gender, and politics, she has special interests in the United States and West Europe, particularly Britain and Italy.

Her current research focuses on women’s elite political access, in two projects.  The first concerns women’s cabinet representation and gendered patterns of access to ministerial office, for which she won the 2012 Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics, for Gender and Cabinet Recruitment:  Pace and Profile in Gendering Government (with Claire Annesley, Isabelle Engeli and Susan Franceschet).  The second project theorizes gendered patterns of competition for party leadership in West Europe, examining the strategic interactions of men and women in party leadership contest calculations.  The initial results were presented in her paper, “Someday My Chance Will Come:  Women Contesting for Executive Leadership in West Europe,” at the 2010 American Political Science Association meetings.

Professor Beckwith is Founding Editor, with Lisa Baldez (Dartmouth College), of Politics & Gender, the journal of the Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association.  Author of numerous scholarly articles, she is the co-editor of Political Women and American Democracy (Cambridge, 2008) and Women’s Movements Facing the Reconfigured State (Cambridge, 2003) and author of American Women and Political Participation (Greenwood Press, 1986).  Professor Beckwith’s recent publications include “Interests, Issues and Preferences: Women’s Interests and Epiphenomena of Activism,” Politics & Gender, 7 (3), September 2011; and “Comparative Politics and the Logics of a Comparative Politics of Gender,” that introduces a ten-article symposium in Perspectives in Politics, 8 (1), March 2010.

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