Joan D. Mandle

Associate Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Women’s Studies, Emerita, Colgate University
Executive Director, Democracy Matters Institute

Connect with Joan

About Joan

Mandle’s research focuses on social movements and social change in the U.S. She has been involved in progressive social movements since 1964 and is currently Executive Director of Democracy Matters, a non-partisan national student organization working to get big private money out of politics. Mandle is also Chair of the Board of Public Campaign, a national organization focusing on money in politics issues and on creating an inclusive democracy. She has twice been the Campaign Manager for an incumbent Congressman, Representative Bob Edgar (D-PA).


In the News

Joan D. Mandle quoted on voter involvement by Don Reed, "Liberty and Justice for All?: The Politics of Prison" Skidmore News, April 10, 2015.
Joan D. Mandle quoted on influencing politics and effectuating change by Nicole Smith, "Democracy Matters Founder Visits Campus, Stresses Importance of Political Involvement" The Lamron, November 6, 2014.
Joan D. Mandle quoted on campaign finance reform by Michelle Breidenbach, "Joan Mandle, Campaign Finance Activist and Colgate Professor, Considers Race against Senator Valesky" Syracuse Post Standard, June 9, 2014.


Change Elections to Change America: Democracy Matters Students in Action (with Jay Mandle) (Prospecta Press, 2014).
Argues that wealthy donors to political campaigns damage democracy; presents student activism that promotes public financing to political candidates at the local, state, and national levels as an alternative to the current system of big private contributions.
"Student Political Engagement" in Sociologists in Action, edited by Jonathan White and Shelley White (Sage Publications, 2011).
Discusses student activism in Democracy Matters college chapters; focuses on grassroots on-campus organizing at colleges and universities throughout the United States to educate and mobilize students to support public financing of election campaigns.
"Democracy Matters at Colgate University" Peer Review: Student Political Engagement 10, no. 2 (2008).
Describes the founding, development, and ongoing efforts of Democracy Matters at Colgate University and other campus chapters.
Can We Wear Pearls and Still be Feminists? Memoir of a Campus Struggle (University of Missouri Press, 2000).
Examines the strengths and weaknesses of Women’s Studies by drawing upon on nine years of experience as the director of Women’s Studies and the Center for Women’s Studies at Colgate University.