Mahoney’s research focus is on the intersection between identity and representation. In particular, she studies how individuals negotiate their multiple identities in political contexts including governmental institutions and electoral campaigns. She is developing a book manuscript which investigates the role gender and political parties play in women’s ability to act collectively on behalf of themselves and their constituents by creating women’s legislative caucuses. The most recent extension of this research agenda focuses on the varied roles these groups play in the policymaking process both directly and indirectly and their effectiveness in creating public policy. Mahoney has civic association relationships with the Louisiana Women’s Policy and Research Commission, the American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters, and the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Southeastern Louisiana.
In the News
Serves as the introduction to the special issue that focuses squarely on the political leadership of women of color in the United States. Discusses how in recent years, it is becoming increasingly common for women of color to seek and attain elected office.
Shares details about the 52 Black women who have navigated this raced and gendered institution (Hawkesworth 2003) since 1969. Discusses data on these Black congresswomen, including, but not limited to, their educational attainment, occupations prior to serving in Congress, and ties to Black Greek Letter organizations. Argues that this descriptive data will prompt new questions for legislative scholars and open conversations about disciplinary norms and assumptions which may need revision in light of Congress’ increasing diversification.
Discusses sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common and costly in the United States, and people who are Black, American Indian/ Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander experience consistently higher rates of STIs (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021a; 2021b; 2019c). Elaborates furthermore, STI rates have been increasing across all racial/ethnic groups for the past several years at an alarming rate, particularly among those 15–24 years old (CDC, 2021b).
Argues that one way by which women overcome marginalization and gendered expectations of performance is bill success from legislation cosponsored with other women.
Questions are what sexual harassment policies exist for those working in US state legislatures and what are the characteristics of these policies, and do they adhere to best practices? Provides some background information on the evolution of sexual harassment policies and prevention in general before specifically describing the prevalence of policies in the fifty US state legislatures.
Evaluates whether the substantive focus of women’s caucuses in state legislatures matters in shaping women’s collaboration with each other. Presents an evaluation of the types of women’s caucuses in U.S. state legislatures, drawing on qualitative examples and evidence from founding efforts.
Examines the ways in which gender and partisanship shape behavior in state legislative institutions.
Analyses the role a women’s caucus (or lack thereof) plays in the legislative process and women’s representation.
Identifies the conditions under which women’s legislative caucuses emerge.
Analyzes the creation of women’s caucuses in four states as a lens through which to examine women legislators’ relationship to political parties.