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Increasing Women Power in APSA at its 100th Anniversary

Posted September. 01, 2003 23:04,   


Increasing women leaders are playing more active roles in the America Political Science Association (APSA), which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. The APSA held various annual political science association meetings to celebrate the hundredth year of foundation, from August 27 to 31, in Philadelphia.

In particular, at the recent meeting, Susanne Rudolph, professor emeritus of Chicago University, was elected the next woman president of APSA, succeeding Theda Skocpol, Harvard professor. Moreover, Washington University professor Margaret Levi`s being elected for the next president, was a proof of women influence over American politics. Also, the International Political Science Association (IPSA) had half of its six vice-president posts taken by women, during July`s change of officers.

Only 30% of the 17,000 members of the APSA are women, but the APSA has produced three consecutive women presidents. During a telephone interview with Dong-A Ilbo, Rudolph said that, “it seems like the result of better consolidation and well-organized election campaigns of the women members.”

The fact that 40% of students entering graduate schools for politics in the US are women is also a background for women`s political power in the US. This shows how much women`s interest in politics has increased. Rudolph recalled that, “only a few years ago, I was the only female politics professor in Chicago University,” and added that, “5 or 6 out of 26 professors are now women, and there are 7 or 8 female professors in Harvard, as well.”

Regarding the so-called “glass ceiling,” which refers to an invisible barrier that prohibits women from advancing to higher posts, Rudolph remarked that, “it was a big issue until only 5 years ago,” reminding us that the Presidents of Chicago University and Princeton are women.

Rudolph, who is an expert on South Asia that received PhD at Harvard for her dissertation on Asian Democracy, also showed deep interest in the situation of the Korean peninsula.

On the issue of ROK-US relations, she said that, “the US hopes that South Korea would gradually develop its relationship with the North,” and advised that she is “aware of the strong desire for improvement in the North-South relations, but if the ROK is to go too far ahead, while the Bush administration is hesitating on normalizing its relation with the North, America`s long-term strategy may retreat.”

However, saying that, “the fact that North Korea accepted to participate at the six-party talks at Beijing is a positive sign and the fact that China is playing an important role is also noticeable,” Rudolph added that, “currently, I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic about the North Korean issue.”