From Suffrage to Representation: Women upon Enfranchisement

How did women achieve de facto representation of shared interests upon de jure entry to the electorate? This book challenges dominant accounts in political science that assume a near `automatic' link between suffrage and representation. Uncovering the complexities in the realization of women's representation, this book documents how social movements facilitate political responsiveness to newly enfranchised groups. Newly enfranchised women faced a plethora of logistic, social and political barriers to voting, and the socio-economic, racial and partisan heterogeneities within the group further impeded the development of women as a distinct political group. Yet a disengaged electorate with latently distinct preferences would hardly seem worthwhile for politicians to engage with. If there is no political demand, the costs of supplying latent preferences of an otherwise disengaged, heterogeneous, electorate would seem too high. Through the analysis of original micro-level data on suffragists' character, strength and activities, women's voting behavior, party manifestos and politicians' legislative behavior in the U.S., Norway and Chile, this book undertakes the puzzle of how did newly enfranchised women overcome barriers to their own representation and become a distinct, politically salient group that made it worthwhile for politicians to engage with politically. By doing so, this book proposes that suffrage movements facilitated the development of politically salient group identities, thus enabling political responsiveness to women's group interests. The suffrage movement, operating in different institutional contexts, helped to define women's shared interests, to raise women's consciousness and to create a politically engaged electorate with manifested shared preferences. This incentivized politicians to politically engage women on shared preferences, thus representing their interests in the legislatures. By carefully unpacking the pathways from suffrage to representation, this book provides an explanation for why women's shared interests are sometimes not represented in legislatures and why political responsiveness to women's interests is not always sustained over time. By doing so, this book makes a theoretical contribution to our understanding of how social groups achieve representation of shared interests.

[Book Outline



Morgan-Collins, Mona. forth. The Electoral Impact of Newly Enfranchised Groups: The Case of Women's Suffrage in the United States. The Journal of Politics.

Accepted July 2019, Journal of Politics

Some of this research featured by LSE Research highlights, accompanied by a video interview.

Some of this research featured in APSA Comparative Politics Newsletter, Spring 2017.

[Abstract] [Paper] [Appendix] [JoP online version]

Morgan-Collins, Mona (first author) & Jan Meyer-Sahling. 2020. Stepping out of the Shadow of the Past: How Career Attributes Shape Ministerial Stability in Post-Communist Democracies. East European Politics.

Accepted June 2020, East European Politics

Awarded Small Research Grant, British Academy

[Abstract] [Paper] [Appendix] [EEP online version]


At the Intersection of Gender and Class: How Were Newly Enfranchised Women Voters Mobilized in Sweden?

Revise & Resubmit, Comparative Political Studies

(with Grace Natusch, graduate student, LSE)

Awarded REF Enhancement Grant, Durham University

[Abstract] [Paper] [Appendix]



Revisiting the Gender Voting Gap in the Era of Women's Suffrage 

(with Dawn L. Teele, University of Pennsylvania)

Awarded Research Internship Grant, Department of Government, LSE

Awarded URF Research Grant, University of Pennsylvania

Recipient of the APSA Best Paper Award 2017, Women and Politics Section

[Abstract] [Working Paper]

Competing for New Votes: Mobilisation of Women in the Wake of Democratisation


Votes for and by Women: How Did Women Vote after the Nineteenth Amendment?

Listen to a podcast where I discuss some of this research (with James Snyder)

PSPE LSE working paper

Universal Suffrage and the Support for Parties with Redistributive Agendas: Evidence from 17 Western Countries 

The Political Impact of Women's Suffrage in Chile and Argentina

(with Dawn Teele, UPenn; Guadalupe Tunon, Berkeley; Anna Callis, Berkeley)


War and Women: Political Legacies of Sexual Violence in the Soviet Zone 

(with Ulrike Theuerkauf, (UEA) and Hanna Folsz, graduate student (Stanford)

Awarded DEVCo Research Grant, University of East Anglia, £4,962

Awarded APSA Small Research Grant, $1,500

Marching for Women: The Mobilization of Early Women Votes by Suffragists in the U.K.

(with Valeria Rueda, University of Nottingham)

Awarded Early Career Flexigrant, University of Nottingham, £5,000

Awarded BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, £9,987

Suffrage, Turnout and the Household: The Case of Early Women Voters in Sweden.

(with Dylan Potts, graduate student, EUI)

Protesting for the Vote:  How Suffragists secured the vote in the U.S.

(with Sarah Liu, University of Edinburgh)

Church or Labour? How Were Early Women Voters Mobilized in Austria? 

           (with Hanna Folsz, graduate student, Stanford)

Role Model Effects in the Past: The First Women Politicians in Sweden.

(with Jeong Kim, Louisiana State University)




The Electoral Impact of Women’s Suffrage: The Case of the Nineteenth Amendment

Comparative Politics Newsletter, APSA Comparative Politics Newsletter, Spring 2017.