In this essay, I start to sketch a research agenda about an electoral backlash against women's descriptive representation. Few scholars have considered the possibility of such a backlash. By “backlash,” I mean resistance to attempts to change the status quo. As Jane Mansbridge and Shauna Shames argue in this issue, when actors disadvantaged by the status quo work to enact change, they may be met by a reaction by those seeking to maintain existing power arrangements. In the following pages, I introduce the idea of a backlash against women's representation, propose several preliminary hypotheses about a backlash, and discuss ways of testing them.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science