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Women in Presidential Cabinets – Power Players or Abundant Tokens? - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Women in Presidential Cabinets: Power Players or Abundant Tokens?

Maria C. Escobar-Lemmon and Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson


We examine the backgrounds, connections, and credentials of all full cabinet rank ministers in two to four presidential administrations in five presidential democracies—Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and the United States—to determine if women and men bring similar numbers and diversity of political capital resources to the administration. With a few exceptions, presidents select men and women with similar work and education backgrounds, prior involvement in parties, politics, and government, and with linkages to related interest groups. Although the women are similar to the men who h ... More

Keywords: Latin America, United States, presidential cabinet, cabinet minister, cabinet secretary, women in politics, representative bureaucracy, gendered institution, token, executive branch

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190491420
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190491420.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Maria C. Escobar-Lemmon, author
Associate Professor of Political Science, Texas A&M University

Michelle M. Taylor-Robinson, author
Professor of Political Science, Texas A&M University

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