Women political scientists, academic journals, and their "gatekeepers"

Yanina WELP

Recent studies dedicated to Latin American political science have focused on the institutionalization of the discipline as the principal line of research. Much progress has been made in our understanding of this issue, yet the gender perspective remains little explored. As one step towards including the gender perspective, this article (1) estimates the prevalence of female political science professors in 107 departments of 16 countries in the region and (2) on the editorial teams and (3) boards of 85 political science or Latin Americanist journals and then (4) evaluates a survey of editors in 48 of these journals. We find a significant gender gap in both departments and journals (especially on editorial boards) that does not correlate with the institutionalization of the discipline. Furthermore, the slightly greater presence on editorial teams represents a double-edged sword. The rise of female editors is an opportunity for professional recognition and to influence the discipline, but it requires working more without significant compensation, while the more symbolic and easier role – being a member of an editorial board – remains dominated by men.