Good Reasons to Run

This Presidents' Day we take a look at political runs of women, examining the challenges and opportunities of female political candidacy

Good reasons to run: women and political candidacy

ed. by Shauna L. Shames et al Temple, 2020
324p bibl index, 9781439919552 $109.50, 9781439919569 $37.95, 9781439918576 $37.95

Starting from the premise that more women could and should run for political office, this collection of essays makes a wide-ranging attempt to understand the role, ambition, and strategies of potential female candidates. Focusing largely on the US context, the more than three-dozen scholarly and professional contributors use a wide variety of impressionistic and empirical approaches to help explain why women run, or avoid running, for office. Considerable attention is given to strategies for increasing the number of female candidates, in particular the role of parties and non-profits in serving as training grounds for women. Going well beyond conventional wisdom about such matters as differential ability to raise funds, the analyses provide a nuanced set of arguments about context, strategies, and resources. With references to the elections of 2016 and 2018 and the primaries of 2020, the discussion takes on a contemporary cast. Despite the relative success of Democratic women, the book’s treatment is evenhanded, looking at strategies and behavior of both Republicans and Democrats. This collection will be an excellent resource for courses on women and electoral politics.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
Reviewer: S. E. Frantzich, emeritus, United States Naval Academy
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Political Science – U.S. Politics
Choice Issue: Oct 2020