100 Years of the Nineteenth Amendment looks back at the century since the amendment giving women in the United States the right to vote was ratified. The volume asks: how has women’s political engagement unfolded over the last one hundred years? The chapters consider women’s participation in electoral politics as well as their efforts in social movement activism. They reveal that, while women have made substantial strides in the political realm—for example, voting at higher rates than men and gaining greater leadership roles in politics and social movements—barriers to gender equality remain. The book explores the diverse experiences of women from a variety of backgrounds, including women from different racial, ethnic, class, and gender identities and with differing sexual orientations and educational and political backgrounds. As the volume traces women’s presence in politics, it also helps readers look forward, to consider possibilities for the next one hundred years of women’s political engagement.
Banaszak got her Ph.D. from Washington University in 1989. Her primary research interests are in comparative political behavior, social movements, and women and politics. Her work has been published in the Social Forces, Electoral Studies, Public Opinion Quarterly, and American Political Science Review; her books include Why Movements Succeed or Fail (Princeton University Press), The Women's Movement Inside and Outside the State (Cambridge University Press), Women's Movements Facing the Reconfigured State edited with Karen Beckwith and Dieter Rucht (Cambridge University Press), and 100 Years of the Nineteenth Amendment edited with Holly McCammon (Oxford University Press). She came to Penn State in 1994 from Iowa State University.
Research InterestsVoting Rights, Women's Movements, Public Opinion, Post-industrial Democracies, U.S.
Banaszak, L. A. (1996). When waves collide: Cycles of protest and the Swiss and American women's movements. Political Research Quarterly, 49(4), 837-860.
This article makes two related arguments. First, a rising cycle of protest may influence existing movements by altering their tactics, providing new allies, and altering others' perceptions of the movements. I illustrate these effects with examples drawn from the Swiss women's movement. The Swiss women's movement is unique because the first wave was still pursuing the enfranchisement of women when the second wave mobilized in the 1960s. Second, I argue that a cycle of protest perspective provides new insights into the events surrounding the decline of the American first-wave movement. The study compares Swiss and American first-wave struggles to achieve an Equal Rights Amendment and increase women's representation in elected office. While the Swiss first wave was aided in these endeavors by the rise of the second wave, the US women's movement after 1920 faced additional problems arising from its ties to the progressive movement. These ties exacerbated splits within the movement and narrowed a backlash against the women's movement by interests threatened by progressive legislation.
Banaszak, L. A., & Ondercin, H. L. (2016). Public opinion as a movement outcome: The case of the US women's movement. Mobilization: An International Quarterly, 21(3), 361-378.
Banaszak, L. A., & Ondercin, H. L. (2010). Explaining movement and countermovement events in the contemporary US Women’s Movement.
While feminist movements have been the subject of careful scholarly research, there has been less attention to the study of countermovements – those movements that arise in opposition to feminist movements (but see Schreiber 2008; Staggenborg and Meyer; Staggenborg 1989, 1991). Such movements are not just important in their own right but because they engage in interactive struggles with feminist movements, affecting women’s movements’ mobilization and ability to affect policy (Staggenborg and Meyer; Staggenborg 1989, 1991). In this paper we examine the causes of movement and countermovement mobilization (in the form of highly visible events), focusing specifically on the relationship between feminist and anti-feminist movements in the United States. We examine the effect that movement and countermovement have on each other and examine how political opportunities, gender opportunities and policy success affect each. In addition to analyzing overall movement and countermovement mobilization, we also examine two specific campaigns associated with these movements: abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment. Using quarterly time series of the number of events sponsored by feminist and anti-feminist movements as our dependent variable, we find that countermovement mobilization is less influenced by movement events than vice versa. We also find significant differences between the abortion and ERA campaigns suggesting that campaign level characteristics also affect movement mobilization.
We introduce a fine-grained method of categorizing protests by their strategies and tactics that places protests in a multidimensional space based on motivations—direct change towards a policy or goal; changing public discourse narratives; and building movement identities or communities. This technique recognizes that multiple motivations may exist and allows protests to be compared based on where they are in multiple dimensions. To test our method and the theoretical dimensions we hypothesize, we surveyed protesters at the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Using questions about participant goals and targets, and confirmatory factor analysis, we corroborate the existence of three dimensions. We show these dimensions provide real information about the differences between protests outside the two conventions. We conclude by discussing how our multidimensional measure can be extended to other events, social movement organizations, or whole movements to facilitate comparisons of events, organizations, or movements across time and space.
Banaszak, L. A. (1996). Why Movements Succeed or Fail. Princeton University Press.
Wyoming became the first American state to adopt female suffrage in 1869--a time when no country permitted women to vote. When the last Swiss canton enfranchised women in 1990, few countries barred women from the polls. Why did pro-suffrage activists in the United States and Switzerland have such varying success? Comparing suffrage campaigns in forty-eight American states and twenty-five Swiss cantons, Lee Ann Banaszak argues that movement tactics, beliefs, and values are critical in understanding why political movements succeed or fail. The Swiss suffrage movement's beliefs in consensus politics and local autonomy and their reliance on government parties for information limited their tactical choices--often in surprising ways. In comparison, the American suffrage movement, with its alliances to the abolition, temperance, and progressive movements, overcame beliefs in local autonomy and engaged in a wider array of confrontational tactics in the struggle for the vote.
Drawing on interviews with sixty Swiss suffrage activists, detailed legislative histories, census materials, and original archival materials from both countries, Banaszak blends qualitative historical inquiry with informative statistical analyses of state and cantonal level data. The book expands our understanding of the role of political opportunities and how they interact with the beliefs and values of movements and the societies they seek to change.
Current comparative analyses of gender attitudes among adolescents largely focus on individual-level characteristics. Understudied is the role of women’s protest on adolescents’ gender attitudes. This paper investigates how women’s protests reported in national news shape young citizens’ gender attitudes across 32 countries. Using the IEA International Civic and Citizenship Study survey data (2009), we test whether women’s protests have a positive impact on egalitarian gender attitudes among adolescents. Our multi-level models demonstrate that girls are more egalitarian in their gender attitudes than boys. The gap between boys and girls changes depending on the level of gender equality in a country. In countries with lower gender equality, the gender gap increases slightly as the number of women’s protests increases, although the difference is not significant. In countries where gender equality is already high, the gender gap is significant at all levels of protest but narrows as protest increases. Our findings expand scholars’ understanding of how protest influences public opinion among young people and have important implications for how gender attitude change occurs and whether women’s protest serves as a tool for developing gender equality.
Federalism seems to play a widely varying role in maintaining or undermining gender hierarchies around the world. In 1869, for example, federalism allowed Wyoming—a new state in the United States—to enfranchise women before this happened at the national level. But in Switzerland, federalism let a recalcitrant canton disenfranchise women until the 1990s—20 years after women achieved the vote on the national level (Banaszak 1996). More generally, federal institutions are associated with widely varying policies on women's rights. Table 1 groups countries according to Lijphart's (1999, Chapter 10) three measures of federalism: a numerical summary measure (column 2), whether the country is centralized or decentralized (column 3), and a dichotomous measure of federal or unitary based on the country's constitution (column 4). No matter which measure is used, gender equality policies vary greatly within each type of system. The wide variation within each category suggests that standard approaches to federalism give us little purchase on gender politics.
Political protest has become a normal form of engagement in many countries (Meyer and Tarrow 1997) although the degree to which protest is considered a legitimate form of civic engagement varies both across countries and across individuals within countries. Using a sample of fourteen year olds from 20 countries surveyed by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) as part of the 1999 Civic Education (CivEd) and 2009 International Civic and Citizenship Education (ICCS) surveys, we seek to understand how national political context – specifically the amount and form of protest in recent years influence young citizens’ attitudes toward participating in protest behavior. We distinguish two different types of protest -- non-confrontational and confrontational -- and expect some factors to affect each of these differently. We also look at how a history of riots in a country influences youth’s expected future activity. The project expands our understanding of how different forms of civic engagement are learned and contributes to the literature on the cross-national factors that produce protest.