Mansbridge, Jane. “Feminism”. A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007. Web. Publisher's Version
Mansbridge, Jane. “Whatever happened to the ERA?”. Women and the U.S. Constitution: History, Interpretation, and Practice. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2004. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Women and the U.S. Constitution is about much more than the nineteenth amendment. This provocative volume incorporates law, history, political theory, and philosophy to analyze the U.S. Constitution as a whole in relation to the rights and fate of women. Divided into three parts—History, Interpretation, and Practice—this book views the Constitution as a living document, struggling to free itself from the weight of a two-hundred-year-old past and capable of evolving to include women and their concerns.

Feminism lacks both a constitutional theory as well as a clearly defined theory of political legitimacy within the framework of democracy. The scholars included here take significant and crucial steps toward these theories. In addition to constitutional issues such as federalism, gender discrimination, basic rights, privacy, and abortion, Women and the U.S. Constitution explores other issues of central concern to contemporary women—areas that, strictly speaking, are not yet considered a part of constitutional law. Women’s traditional labor and its unique character, and women and the welfare state, are two examples of topics treated here from the perspective of their potentially transformative role in the future development of constitutional law.

Mansbridge, Jane, and Katherine Flaster. “Male Chauvinist, Feminist, Sexist, And Sexual Harassment: Different Trajectories In Feminist Linguistic Innovation”. American Speech 80.3 (2005): , 80, 3, 256-279. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The usage of the term male chauvinist, commonly thought to have arisen in the late 1960s, is tracked in the New York Times from 1851 to 1999 using the Pro- Quest Historical Newspapers online archive, along with feminist, another revivified word, and the new coinages sexist and sexual harassment. Male chauvinist reveals the characteristic pattern of a vogue word in its relatively swift rise and slower decline, while the other words, once introduced or reintroduced, have a more sustained trajectory. A comparison through survey research of male chauvinist with sexist reveals greater cross-class and cross-race usage of male chauvinist.

Beaman, Lori, Rohini Pande, and Alexandra Cirone. “Chapter 14: Politics as a Male Domain and Empowerment in India”. The Impact of Gender Quotas. Oxford University Press, 2012. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract
  • First comparative, multi-country study of the impact of gender quotas across descriptive, substantive and symbolic dimensions of representation
  • Bridges literatures of gender quotas and women's political representation
  • Uses case studies from twelve countries to build broad theories about gender quotas and women's representation
Bohnet, Iris, and Farzad Saidi. “Informational Differences and Performance: Experimental Evidence”. (2012). Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This paper provides experimental evidence on how informational differences may translate into performance differences in competitive environments. In a laboratory tournament setting, we manipulate beliefs about the effort-reward relationship by varying how much information people receive on the potential impact of luck on outcomes. We find that an informational disadvantage worsens the understanding of the effort-reward relationship, and significantly lowers performance. Our study is inspired by informational differences in the labor market where some individuals have less data on the determinants of economic success than others due to social networks or the availability of similar others to learn from.

Mansbridge, Jane. “Should Blacks Represent Blacks and Women Represent Women? A Contingent “Yes””. The Journal of Politics 61.3 (1999): , 61, 3, 628-657. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Disadvantaged groups gain advantages from descriptive representation in at least four contexts. In contexts of group mistrust and uncrystallized interests, the better communication and experiential knowledge of descriptive representatives enhances their substantive representation of the group's interests by improving the quality of deliberation. In contexts of historical political subordination and low de facto legitimacy, descriptive representation helps create a social meaning of “ability to rule” and increases the attachment to the polity of members of the group. When the implementation of descriptive representation involves some costs in other values, paying those costs makes most sense in these specific historical contexts.

Hong, Kessely, and Iris Bohnet. “Status and distrust: The relevance of inequality and betrayal aversion”. Journal of Economic Psychology 28.2 (2007): , 28, 2, 197–213. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Trust involves a willingness to accept vulnerability, comprised of the risk of being worse off than by not trusting, the risk of being worse off than the trusted party (disadvantageous inequality), and the risk of being betrayed by the trusted party. We examine how people’s status, focusing on sex, race, age and religion, affects their willingness to accept these three risks. We experimentally measure people’s willingness to accept risk in a decision problem, a risky dictator game, and a trust game, and compare responses across games. Groups typically considered having lower status in the US – women, minorities, young adults and non-Protestants – are averse to disadvantageous inequality while higher status groups – men, Caucasians, middle-aged people and Protestants – dislike being betrayed.

Mansbridge, Jane. “Anti-statism and Difference Feminism in International Social Movements”. International Feminist Journal of Politics 53 (2003): , 5, 3, 355-360. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Feminist strategies that neglect or consistently deplore state action cannot accomplish what women need – because individuals need collectives such as states to solve collective action problems and to move toward more just social arrangements. Strategies that rely heavily on women's differences from men also cannot accomplish what women need – because women are like men in many ways relevant to individual and collective action. Despite these truths, social movements also need some strategies of action that work separately from and sometimes against the state. Moreover, strategies that accentuate the differences between oppressed and oppressing bring needed energy to a movement. The best overall strategy is, therefore, to realize that both states and difference theories are dangerous weapons, and proceed with caution.

Ricardo Hausmann

Ricardo Hausmann

Rafik Hariri Professor of Practice of International Political Economy, Harvard Kennedy School
Rema Hanna

Rema Hanna

Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies, Harvard Kennedy School
Martha Chen

Martha Chen

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School