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Farida Jalalzai

Hannah Atkins Endowed Chair and Professor of Political Science, Virginia Tech University

About Farida

Jalalzai's research analyzes the representation and behavior of women and minorities in politics and the role of gender in the political arena. Her work focuses on women national leaders.


In the News

Opinion: "Dynasties still Run the World," Farida Jalalzai (with Meg Rincker), The Conversation, March 26, 2019.
Research discussed by Darla Shelden, in "OSU Professor Releases Research on Females in Power," The City Sentinel, June 9, 2018.
Quoted by Ernesto Londono in "President Bachelet of Chile is the Last Woman Standing in the Americas," New York Times, July 24, 2017.
Guest on NPR Newshour, March 8, 2017.
Quoted by Uri Friedman in "Why it's So Hard for a Woman to Become President of the United States," The Atlantic, November 12, 2016.
Quoted by Kathy Gilsinan in "The Myth of the 'Female' Foreign Policy," The Atlantic, August 25, 2016.
Quoted by Sharmilla Ganesan in "What Do Women Leaders Have in Common?," The Atlantic, August 17, 2016.
Quoted by Vanessa Williams in "Women Steering the Ship of State: They’re Everywhere (Except Here)," The Washington Post, July 21, 2016.
Quoted by Jonathan Gilbert in "South America’s Powerful Women are Embattled. Is Gender a Factor?," New York Times, May 14, 2016.
Opinion: "Hillary in 2016? Not so Fast," Farida Jalalzai, The Washington Post, May 13, 2016.
Quoted by Simon Romero in "On Election Day, Latin America Willingly Trades Machismo for Female Clout," New York Times, December 14, 2013.


"A Comparative Assessment of Hilary Clinton's 2016 Presidential Race" Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World 10 (2017): 1-11.

Assesses how Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential loss conforms to established findings within the gender and politics literature about the difficulties women face in running for presidential office. In many ways, Clinton’s loss was predictable, though at times she defied the conventional wisdom. The presidential glass ceiling remains fully intact in the United States now and perhaps the foreseeable future. 

"Women Presidents of Latin America" (Routledge Press, 2016).

While providing valuable insight into the big picture of women in presidential politics throughout Latin America over the last several decades, this book more closely analyzes four women presidents gaining office since 2006: Michelle Bachelet (Chile) Cristina Fernández (Argentina) Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica) and Dilma Rousseff (Brazil). It assesses the paths and impacts of Latin American women presidents and scrutinizes the ways gender shapes both aspects.

"Defining Women's Global Political Empowerment: Theories and Evidence " (with Amy Alexander and Catherine Bolzendahl). Sociology Compass 10, no. 6 (2016): 432-441.

Interrogates women's political empowerment', considering its definition, measurement, and application.

"Shattered, Cracked, or Firmly Intact?" (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Outlines important patterns related to women executive's paths, powers, and potential impacts. In doing so, she combines qualitative and quantitative analysis and explores both contexts in which women successfully gained executive power and those in which they did not.