Gender Gap in Political Science: An Analysis of the Scientific Publications and Career Paths of Italian Political Scientists
By Marco Cellini, Institute for Research on Population and Social Policies of the Italian National Research Council, Italy
This article assesses whether a gender gap in political science, identified in the international literature, also is present in the context of Italian political science. The literature has mostly centered on the comparison of female publication rates in international journals with the academic workforce in the United States, but this raises an issue of data comparability. As an alternative strategy to avoid comparability biases, this study focuses on the analysis of a single national case: Italy. The article evaluates to what extent the “glass-ceiling” effect persists for political scientists who intend to publish their contributions. By analyzing data on articles published between 2015 and 2020 by the three major Italian political science journals, this contribution shows that (1) the proportion of published articles written by female authors is lower than that of male authors; (2) the hypothesis that the lower female proportion depends on a lower female presence in the field of political science is refuted; (3) there is little collaboration between men and women; (4) there is a correlation between the presence of female editors in scientific journals and the proportion of female-authored articles; and (5) gender differences are reflected in women’s academic career progression.