Shauna Shames

Shauna Shames

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University-Camden

About Shauna

Shames’ primary area of academic interest is American political behavior, with a focus on race, gender, and politics. For her dissertation research, she has been conducting and analyzing data from an original survey and a set of in-depth interviews about potential candidates' expectations about politics, political campaigns, and serving in elective office. Shames has published articles, reports, and book chapters on women as candidates, black women in Congress, comparative child care policy, work/family conflict, abortion, feminism in the U.S. and internationally, gay and lesbian rights, and U.S. public opinion. In addition, she has designed and taught courses (as an instructor and as a teaching fellow/assistant) on race, class, gender, American politics, women's studies, the history of feminism, freshman writing, and futuristic fiction, and has lectured widely on gender, race, and politics. She has worked for multiple nonprofit and foundation groups relating to women and politics, including NOW, the White House Project, the Salzburg Global Seminar, and the Parity Project of the Hunt Alternatives Fund.


Shattering the Glass Ceiling for Women in Politics

  • Pamela O'Leary

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Shauna Shames's research on presidential runs discussed by Scott Detrow and Domenico Montanaro, "'Absolutely Brutal': Why White House Runs aren't For Everyone," NPR, December 9, 2018.
"Kavanaugh’s Behavior is about Power, Not Just Sex," Shauna Shames, Bangor Daily News, October 1, 2018.
Guest to discuss The Great (Political) Divide: Why Women and Millennials are Underrepresented in Politics on Maine Public, Shauna Shames, March 20, 2018.
Shauna Shames quoted on involving youth in politics by Steve Collins, "Young People Wary of Getting Involved in Politics, Expert Says" Sun Journal, March 6, 2018.
Shauna Shames quoted on millennials’ preference for running for state and local elections by Natalie Delgadillo, "Is Trump's Presidency Actually Inspiring More Millennials to Run for Office?" Governing, November 15, 2017.
Shauna Shames quoted by Charlotte Alter, "'We Can Do it Better.' Meet the Millennials Taking over City hall" Time, October 12, 2017.
Shauna Shames quoted on millennials’ level of interest in running for office by Raina Lipsitz, "Why Don't More Women Run for Office? Because It Sucks" Glamour, August 8, 2017.
Shauna Shames's research on why millenials are not running for office discussed by Tom McLaughlin, "The Age of Declines: Researcher’s New Book Explores Why Millennials are Rejecting Public Office," Rutgers-Camden News Now, February 1, 2017.
"Marching beyond Red vs. Blue," Shauna Shames, Huffington Post, January 30, 2017.
Shauna Shames's research on millenials becoming political candidates discussed by Emma Green, "‘Nobody Wants to Run for Office’," The Atlantic, January 28, 2017.
"Texas is Deceptive on Fetal Burial Rule," Shauna Shames (with Rhonda Struminger), Corpus Christi Caller Times, January 16, 2017.
Shauna Shames's research on the costs and benefits of running for office discussed by Alexander C. Kafka, "Why Millennials Don’t Want to Run for Office," The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 4, 2017.
"Ohio is Exhibit A for Why More Women Should be Elected to Office," Shauna Shames (with Ohio State Representative Kathleen Clyde),, September 2, 2016.
Interview on the 2016 presidential election Shauna Shames, Rutgers-Camden News Now, July 31, 2016.
"Why the Hillary Generation Gap Polls Don't Tell the Full Story," Shauna Shames, Huffington Post, December 21, 2015.
Shauna Shames's research on gender gap in politics discussed by Shane Ferro, "Women Have Very Little Political Power Anywhere in the World," Huffington Post, November 18, 2015.
Shauna Shames quoted on the reasons young people don't want to run for office by Susan Milligan, "Reluctant to Serve" U.S. News and World Report, October 16, 2015.
Shauna Shames's research on the partisan gender gap in Congress discussed by Derek Willis, "G.O.P. Women in Congress: Why So Few?," New York Times, June 1, 2015.
Shauna Shames's research on social science as not inclusive toward women discussed by Danielle Bruno, "Rutgers Professor Finds Gender Inequality Prevalent in Field of Political Science," Daily Targum, February 27, 2015.
Shauna Shames quoted on lack of interest in campaigning for a legislative job by Robin Mary, "Why Don't Millenials Want to Run for Office?" Care2, February 27, 2015.
"Millennials Don’t Want to Run for Office," Shauna Shames, The Washington Post, February 24, 2015.
Shauna Shames quoted on the lack of female political donors by Rebecca Traister, "Why are There No Female Sheldon Adelsons?" New Republic, July 23, 2014.
"JFK, a Pioneer in the Women's Movement," Shauna Shames (with Pamela O'Leary), Los Angeles Times, November 22, 2013.
"Learning from a ‘C’," Shauna Shames, Harvard Crimson, September 29, 2011.


"Out of the Running: Why Millennials Reject Political Careers and Why it Matters" (New York University Press, 2017).

Draws from extensive research with graduate students in elite institutions that have historically been a direct link for their graduates into state or federal elected office to ask if millennials are as uninterested in political issues and the future of the American political system as the media suggests. Finds that they are not uninterested; rather, they do not believe that a career in politics is the best way to create change.

"What, if Anything, is to be Done?" in The Un-Heavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice in America, edited by Kay Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Henry Brady (Princeton University Press, 2012), 534-572.
Explores possible governmental policy solutions to the problem of unequal political voice.
"Culture War?: A Closer Look at the Role of Religion, Denomination, and Religiosity in U.S. Public Opinion on Multiple Sexualities" (with Didi Kuo and Katherine Levine), in Faith, Politics, and Sexual Diversity in Canada and the U.S., edited by David Rayside and Clyde Wilcox (University of British Columbia Press, 2011), 29-48.

Presents data analysis on public opinion about various gay/lesbian rights issues, finding that the more heavily religious and orthodox one is, the more likely to oppose expansions of GLBT rights.

"Toward a Theory of Backlash: Dynamic Resistance and the Central Role of Power" Politics & Gender Journal 4, no. 4 (2008): 623-634.
Presents a new theory of backlash to progressive social movements.
"Political Pathways to Child Care Policy" (with Kristin Goss), in Women and Politics Around the World, edited by Joyce Gelb and Marian Lief Palley (ABC-CLIO Press, 2008), 143-158.
Investigates pathways to child care policy for women’s movements across six countries.
"Mother’s Dreams: Abortion and the High Price of Motherhood" (with Joan Williams). University of Pennsylvania Law Review 6, no. 4 (2004): 818-843.

Argues that women get abortions for reasons having to do with their dreams for their existing and future children, including wanting good education, enough food, and good parenting for the children.

"The Un-Candidates: Gender and Outsider Signals in Women’s Political Ads" Women & Politics Journal 25, no. 1 (2003): 115-146.
Explores the role of gender in political advertising through a systematic analysis of campaign commercials from U.S. House, Senate, and Governor races from 1964 to 1998.