Politics & Gender

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Research Article

Linking Women's Descriptive and Substantive Representation in the United States

Kimberly Cowell-Meyersa1 and Laura Langbeina1

a1 American University

Kimberly Cowell-Meyers is Assistant Professor of Government at American University. She teaches comparative politics, American politics, political theory, and research methods. Her research focuses on the politics of identity, including the study of gender and ethnicity. She is the author of Religion and Politics in the Nineteenth Century: The Party Faithful in Ireland and Germany (Greenwood Press, 2002) and several articles in Perspectives on Politics, PS: Political Science and Politics, Women & Politics, Irish Political Studies and Nationalism and Ethnic Studies.

Laura Langbein is Professor of Public Administration and Policy at American University. She teaches quantitative methods, program evaluation and policy analysis. Her research includes empirical applications in various policy fields, including the environment, education, criminal justice (death penalty and the police), corruption, and discretion and pay-for-performance for federal public employees. Her recent articles have appeared in Political Research Quarterly, Journal of Politics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Social Science Quarterly, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Choice, and Economics of Education Review.


We are indebted to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, the Center for American Women and Politics, David Lowery, and Gerald Wright, who graciously provided data, to Irina Novikova, who ably helped with data collection, and to the anonymous reviewers, whose comments improved the manuscript. We remain responsible for any remaining errors.