Laurel Elder Receives the 2022 Victoria Schuck Award

The Victoria Schuck Award is presented annually by the American Political Science Association (APSA) to honor the best book published on women and politics.   

Laurel Elder, author of The Partisan Gap: Why Democratic Women Get Elected But Republican Women Don’t, is a Professor of Political Science at Hartwick College in New York where she teaches courses on American politics and strives to help her students become more informed and engaged citizens.  She received her PhD from The Ohio State University and her BA from Colgate University.  Her research explores the intersection of gender, race, and parenthood in shaping political attitudes as well as the reasons for women’s continued underrepresentation in elective office.  She is the advisor to her college’s chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, which has won a national best chapter award six times for its civic engagement programming, and serves on Pi Sigma Alpha’s executive committee.

Citation from the Award Committee: 

Elder’s book, The Partisan Gap: Why Democratic Women Get Elected But Republican Women Don’t, addresses an important puzzle: the development of a dramatic partisan gap in the legislative representation of women between the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States, at the national and sub-national level.  Elder compellingly tests a variety of hypotheses, drawing on rich quantitative and qualitative data, making use of the U.S. federal context.  These findings underscore the short-sightedness of thinking of the U.S. as a single unified political system.  Her focus on the enormity of the range of state legislature’s inclusion of women and the reasons behind this outcome reveal some critical answers that looking at Congress alone would not.  The book is exemplary for how it presents the research question, carries out the analysis, explains findings in a thoughtful and accessible way, and speaks to more than one subfield in political science.

APSA thanks the committee members for their service: Dr. Merike Blofield (chair) of the German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Dr. Shauna L. Shames of Rutgers University, Camden, and Dr. Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson of Texas A&M University.

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