Karen Beckwith, PhD, MA, BA

Flora Stone Mather Professor
Department of Political Science

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For students interested in working with Professor Beckwith in POSC396 Senior Capstone Project, get further information. While on sabbatical for the Fall 2019 Semester, Professor Beckwith is not supervising POSC396.

Karen Beckwith is the Flora Stone Mather Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University. She received her BA from the University of Kentucky (1972) and her MA and PhD from Syracuse University (1977, 1982). Teaching primarily in the areas of political parties, political movements, and women, gender, and politics, she has special regional interest in the United States and West Europe.

Professor Beckwith’s current research projects examining 1) how social movements respond to loss; 2) how party leadership contests are gendered in parliamentary democracies; and 3) the impact on party system change on women’s political representation. Her research has been funded by the American Political Science Association Centennial Grants, the Council for European Studies, the European Consortium for Political Research, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation.  Her book, Cabinets, Ministers, and Gender, with Claire Annesley (University of Sussex) and Susan Franceschet (University of Calgary) will be published by Oxford University Press (2019).

Professor Beckwith is Lead Editor, with Lisa Baldez (Dartmouth College) and Christina Wolbrecht (University of Notre Dame), of Cambridge Studies in Gender and Politics, a series of books published by Cambridge University Press.  She was the founding editor, with Lisa Baldez (Dartmouth College), of Politics & Gender, the journal of the Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association.  Author of numerous scholarly articles, she is the co-editor of Political Women and American Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and Women’s Movements Facing the Reconfigured State (Cambridge, 2003), and author of American Women and Political Participation (Greenwood Press, 1986).  Professor Beckwith serves on the Editorial Boards of the Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique, and the European Journal of Politics and Gender, the journal of the European Conference on Politics and Gender.  Professor Beckwith was the Fulbright-Scotland Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh in 2014.  In 2013, Professor Beckwith was honored by the Midwest Women’s Caucus for Political Science as the Outstanding Professional Scholar.

Professor Beckwith is on sabbatical in the Fall 2019 semester, as a Visiting Scholar at the Centennial Center of the American Political Science Association and as a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University’s Motara Center for International Studies, both in Washington, DC.

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Research Information

Research Interests

  • comparative political parties
  • party leadership
  • cabinet formation
  • political movements
  • political loss, and the comparative politics of gender; with a focus on the United States and West Europe