Political scientist to spend 2014 spring semester in United Kingdom as Fulbright Scholar

Headshot of Karen Beckwith CWRU
Karen Beckwith

Case Western Reserve University political scientist Karen Beckwith received a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to the United Kingdom. She will spend six months next year in Scotland and attend political science meetings in England and Spain.

Beckwith, the Flora Stone Mather Professor of Political Science, specializes in research on gender and politics, with an expertise in political movements, comparative women’s movements and women’s political representation in parliaments and cabinet positions.

Those interests will cross the Atlantic as she plans to use her Fulbright to lecture and undertake research at the University of Edinburgh for her project, “What’s New?  Institutional Transformation and Women’s Political Representation.”

She will collaborate with Fiona Mackay, a professor of politics at Edinburgh, with plans to produce articles and a book that identifies how the political process can work to create policies inclusive and favorable to women.

Beckwith raises the question of the relationship between newly established institutions, how they operate and incorporate new political actors (such as members of parliaments) and the policy consequences for women. She will focus on political case studies in France, Germany, Italy, Scotland and Spain.

“The project will identify specific institutional changes in terms of political system through major constitutional changes, electoral system and party system, and will categorize countries by whether new institutions and arrangements were established or not,” Beckwith said.

Beckwith is the lead founding editor of the journal Politics & Gender. Her published work includes: American Women and Political Participation (1986), Women’s Movements Facing the Reconfigured State (2003, edited with Lee Ann Banaszak and Dieter Rucht), and Political Women and American Democracy (2008, edited with Christina Wolbrecht and Lisa Baldez).

Her newest work is “Plotting the Path from One to the Other: Women’s Interests and Political Representation” that is forthcoming in Representation: The Case of Women’s Interests (editors Michelle Taylor-Robinson and Maria Escobar-Lemmon, Oxford University Press).

Beckwith is among 300,000 scholars worldwide who have participated in the Fulbright program. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in the United Kingdom. She is the fourth member of the CWRU Department of Political Science to win a Fulbright award within the past five years.

Forty-three Nobel Prizes have been awarded to individuals who received Fulbright Scholarships.