An Organizing Approach to Diversifying Political Science

An Organizing Approach to Diversifying Political Science

by Fernando Tormos-Aponte. University of Maryland, Baltimore County

The field of Political Science in the US has been largely unable to diversify its faculty ranks over the past 20 years. Women, Latinx, Black, Afro-Caribbean, and African American political scientists in the US remain vastly underrepresented in the membership of the American Political Science Association vis-à-vis their makeup of the US population (Mealy 2018, 3-4). Despite the “small and glacial” magnitude and pace of gains, as aptly detailed in the 2011 APSA Task Force Report on Political Science in the 21st Century, political scientists from underrepresented groups are building momentum for a transformative push within the field. Drawing insights from their own findings about minority and women’s agency in legislatures (Sinclair-Chapman 2015) and social movement coalition building (Beckwith 2015), women, minoritized, and minoritized women political scientists specifically, are enacting pathways for diversifying political science. This article identifies a series of opportunities that political scientists can seize to achieve the goal of this transformative push, diversify political science and open it to historically underrepresented groups. Moving closer to this goal, Tormos-Aponte argues, will require an intentional and intersectional organizing approach.

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