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Professor of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University

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.

Professor Beckwith’s current research includes projects on 1) how social movements respond to loss; 2) gendered competition in party leadership contests in parliamentary democracies; and 3) patterns of women’s appointments to cabinet posts in North America and West Europe. For the latter research she was awarded the 2012 Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics. In 2013, she was honored by the Midwest Women’s Caucus for Political Science as the Outstanding Professional Scholar.

In the spring term of 2014, Professor Beckwith was the Fulbright-Scotland Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, where she worked on her project What’s New? Institutional Transformation and Women’s Political Representation. During that time, she spoke at several British and European universities, and she concluded her Fulbright Professorship by interviewing Members of the Scottish Parliament about the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence.

Professor Beckwith is Lead Editor of a new series of books to be published by Cambridge University Press: Cambridge Studies in Gender and Politics, with Christina Wolbrecht (University of Notre Dame) and Lisa Baldez (Dartmouth College). She was the 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 University Press, 2008) and Women’s Movements Facing the Reconfigured State (Cambridge, 2003), and author of American Women and Political Participation (Greenwood Press, 1986).


  • –present
    Professor of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University