Welcome to the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies








Ph.D., Indiana University, Political Science, 1980

M.A., Indiana University, Political Science, 1975

B.A., Miami University (Ohio), History, magna cum laude, 1972

Research Interests

Gendered Institutions, Women’s Leadership Studies, Women and Politics, Women’s Movements, Media Studies.

Biographical Notes

Susan J. Carroll is Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University as well as Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) of the Eagleton Institute of Politics.

As senior scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics, Carroll has been co-principal investigator on several major research projects funded by the Ford Foundation, the Charles H. Revson Foundation, and the Barbara Lee Foundation. She has co-authored several CAWP publications focusing on the recruitment and impact of women state legislators and members of Congress, including Reshaping the Agenda: Women in State Legislatures; Women's Routes to Elective Office: A Comparison With Men's; and Voices, Views, Votes: The Impact of Women in the 103rd Congress.

Carroll was instrumental in developing the pioneering graduate program in women and politics within the political science department at Rutgers University, and she is especially proud of the accomplishments of the extraordinary feminist scholars she has helped educate. At the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Carroll oversees the Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program, an honors-like program through which a select group of juniors and seniors examine the interconnections between the theory and practice of politics.

Carroll is a founder and former president of the Organized Section for Women and Politics Research of the American Political Science Association, and she currently co-edits the CAWP Series in Gender and American Politics, a book series published by the University of Michigan Press. In 2006 she received the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus of the Midwest Political Science Association.

As a nationally recognized expert on women’s participation in politics, Carroll has been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, Business Week, Time, and various other print media. Her televison appearances include: CNN; "Nightline” on ABC; "Up to the Minute” on CBS; WNYC public television in New York; WNJN public television in New Jersey; WCBS News in New York; and WNBC’s "Today in New York Weekend Edition." She has been interviewed for numerous radio programs, including "All Things Considered," "Morning Edition," and "Marketplace" on National Public Radio.

Carroll has a long history of involvement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), having served as a member of the board of trustees of the ACLU-NJ for 15 years and as a delegate to two national ACLU conventions. She also serves on the board of her local Girl Scout council. She received the Mary Philbrook Award for achievements and contributions to advancing women’s equality from the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey and the Georgina Smith Award for Creative and Distinguished Leadership from the Rutgers University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

Awards, Fellowships, and Grants

  • Co-principal Investigator, “Recruitment of Women for Public Office,” a grant to the Center for American Women and Politics from the Barbara Lee Foundation, $100,000 (plus $50,000+ in matching funds from other sources), 2007-08
  • Co-principal Investigator, "The Impact of Women in State Legislatures: The View from 2001," a grant to the Center for American Women and Politics from the Barbara Lee Foundation, $200,000, 2001-02
  • Co-principal Investigator, "Women in Public Office: Speeding Up the Impact," a grant to the Center for the American Woman and Politics from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, $458,000, 1993-1995
  • Co-principal Investigator, "Women and American Politics: Agenda Setting for the 21st Century," a grant to the Center for the American Woman and Politics, Ford Foundation, $75,000, 1993-94
  • Co-principal Investigator, "The Impact of Women in Public Office," a grant to the Center for the American Woman and Politics from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, $450,000, 1987-91
  • Co-principal Investigator, "Bringing More Women into Public Office," a grant to the Center for the American Woman and Politics from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, $220,000, 1983-85

Selected Publications

  • Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, co-editor with Richard L. Fox (Cambridge University Press, First Edition, 2006; Second Edition, 2010).
  • Women and American Politics: New Questions, New Directions, editor (Oxford University Press, 2003).
  • The Impact of Women in Public Office, editor (Indiana University Press, 2001).
  • Women as Candidates in American Politics (Indiana University Press, First Edition, 1985; Second Edition, 1994).
  • “Preparedness Meets Opportunity: A Case Study of Women’s Representation in the New Jersey Legislature,” in Breaking Male Dominance in Old Democracies, edited by Drude Dahlerup and Monique Leyenaar (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming) (with Kelly Dittmar).
  • “Women in State Government: Past, Present, Future,” in The Book of the States, Volume 43, edited by The Council of State Governments (Lexington, KY: The Council of State Governments, 2011).
  • “Voting Choices: The Politics of the Gender Gap,” in Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, edited by Susan J. Carroll and Richard Fox (New York: Cambridge University Press, Second Edition, 2010).
  • “The 2008 Candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin: Cracking the ‘Highest, Hardest Glass Ceiling,’” in Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, edited by Susan J. Carroll and Richard Fox (New York: Cambridge University Press, Second Edition, 2010) (with Kelly Dittmar).
  • “Reflections on Gender and Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign: The Good, the Bad, and the Misogynic,” Politics & Gender 5:1 (2009): 1-20.
  • “Commentary on Emmy E. Werner’s 1968 Article, ‘Women in the State Legislatures,’” Political Research Quarterly 61:1 (2008): 25-28. 
  • "Committee Assignments: Discrimination or Choice?” in Legislative Women: Getting Elected, Getting Ahead, edited by Beth Reingold (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2008).
  • "Security Moms and Presidential Politics: Women Voters in the 2004 Election,” in The Gender Gap: Voting and the Sexes, edited by Lois Duke Whitaker (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2008).
  • “‘Far from Ideal’: The Gender Politics of Political Science,” American Political Science Review 100:4 (2006): 507-513 (with Sue Tolleson-Rinehart).
  • “Moms Who Swing, or Why the Promise of the Gender Gap Remains Unfulfilled,” Politics & Gender 2:3 (2006): 364-376.
  • “Voting Choices: Meet You at the Gender Gap,” in Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics, edited by Susan J. Carroll and Richard Fox (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).
  • “Are Women Legislators Accountable to Women? The Complementary Roles of Feminist Identity and Women’s Organizations,” in Gender and Social Capital, edited by Brenda O’Neill and Elisabeth Gidengil (New York: Routledge, 2006).
  • “‘She Brought Only a Skirt:’ Gender Bias in Newspaper Coverage of Elizabeth Dole’s Campaign for the Republican Nomination,” Political Communication, 22:3 (2005): 315-335 (with Caroline Heldman and Stephanie Olson).
  • “Reflections on Activism and Social Change for Scholars of Women and Politics,” Politics & Gender 1:2 (2005): 325-335.
  • “Increasing Diversity or More of the Same? Term Limits and the Representation of Women, Minorities, and Minority Women in State Legislatures,” National Political Science Review 10 (2005): 71-84 (with Krista Jenkins).
  • “Have Women State Legislators in the United States Become More Conservative? A Comparison of State Legislators in 2001 and 1988,” Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal 27:2 (Spring/Summer 2003): 128-139.
  • “Representing Women: Congresswomen’s Perceptions of Their Representational Roles,” in Women Transforming Congress, edited by Cindy Simon Rosenthal (University of Oklahoma Press, 2003).
  • “Unrealized Opportunity? Term Limits and the Representation of Women in State Legislatures,” Women & Politics 23:4 (2001): 1-30 (with Krista Jenkins).
  • "Do Term Limits Help Women Get Elected?," Social Science Quarterly 82 (March 2001): 199-203 (with Krista Jenkins).
  • "Welfare Reform in the 104th Congress: Institutional Position and the Role of Women," in Women and Welfare: Theory and Practice in the United States and Europe, edited by Nancy Hirschmann and Ulrike Liebert (Rutgers University Press, 2001) (with Kathleen J. Casey).
  • "Representing Women: Women State Legislators as Agents of Policy-related Change," in The Impact of Women in Public Office, edited by Susan J. Carroll (forthcoming , Indiana University Press, 2001).
  • "The Dis-Empowerment of the Gender Gap: Soccer Moms and the 1996 Elections," PS: Political Science & Politics 32 (March 1999): 7-11.
  • "Media Coverage of Women in the 103rd Congress," in Women, Media, and Politics, edited by Pippa Norris (Oxford University Press, 1997) (with Ronnee Schreiber).
  • "The Politics of Difference: Women Public Officials as Agents of Change," Stanford Law and Policy Review, 5 (Spring 1994): 11-20.
  • "Feminist Challenges to Political Science," in Political Science: The State of the Discipline II, edited by Ada W. Finifter (Washington, D.C.: American Political Science Association, 1993) (with Linda M. G. Zerilli).
  • "Women State Legislators, Women's Organizations, and the Representation of Women's Culture in the United States," in Women Transforming Politics: Worldwide Strategies for Empowerment, edited by Jill M. Bystydzienski (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991).
  • "The Personal is Political: The Intersection of Private Lives and Public Roles Among Women and Men in Elective and Appointive Office," Women & Politics, 9 (1989): 51-67.
  • "Women's Autonomy and the Gender Gap," in Politics of the Gender Gap: Public Opinion and Political Influence, edited by Carol Mueller (Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1988).
  • "Women Appointed to the Carter Administration: More or Less Qualified?" Polity, 18 (Summer 1986): 696-706.s
  • "Political Elites and Sex Differences in Political Ambition: A Reconsideration," Journal of Politics, 47 (November 1985): 1231-1243.
  • "Women Candidates and Support for Feminist Concerns: The Closet Feminist Syndrome," Western Political Quarterly, 37 (June 1984): 307-323.

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