Gwynn Thomas


Gwynn Thomas.

Gwynn Thomas


Gwynn Thomas



Latin America; women’s political participation and leadership; gender and politics; transnational feminism; comparative women’s movements; feminist theory; citizenship and state development

Contact Information

1030A Clemens Hall

Buffalo NY, 14260

Phone: (716) 645-0793

I am passionate about challenging women’s political exclusions in democratic societies. My research on Latin America examines how women’s activism in promoting institutional innovations promotes gender equality in states and political parties.


  • PhD, Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • "It’s a Family Affair: Mobilizing Citizens, Claiming Leadership and Contesting Legitimacy in Chilean Politics"

Selected Publications

  • Contesting Legitimacy in Chile: Familial Ideals, Citizenship, and Political Struggle, 1970-1990. The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011. (Reviewed in Journal of Latin American Studies, The Americas, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Journal of Family History, Perspectives on Politics.)
  • “Working within a Gendered Political Consensus:  Uneven progress on Gender and Sexuality Rights in Chile.” In Elisabeth Jay Friedman, ed. Testing the Transformation. Forthcoming, Duke University Press.
  • “Latin America’s Presidentas: Challenging Old Patterns, Forging New Pathways,” with Catherine Reyes-Housholder. In Leslie Schwindt-Bayer, Women, Representation, and Politics in Latin America. (Oxford University Press, 2017).
  • “Supermadres, Maternal Legacies, and Women’s Political Participation in Contemporary Latin America,” with Susan Franceschet and Jennifer Piscopo. Journal of Latin American Studies, 48:01 (2016): 1-32.
  • “Resisting Parity: Gender and Cabinet Appointments in Chile and Spain,” with Susan Franceschet. Politics & Gender, 11:4 (2015): 643-664.
  • “Michelle Bachelet’s Liderazgo Feminino (Feminine Leadership): Gender and Redefining Political Le adership in Chile’s 2005 Presidential Campaign,” International Feminist Journal of Politics. 13 (1), 2011: 63-82.
  • “Breaking the Final Glass Ceiling: The Influence of Gender in the Election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Michelle Bachelet” with Melinda Adams (equal co-authorship). Journal of Women, Politics and Policy, 31 (2), 2010: 105-131. (Awarded, Top Five Most Read Articles for 2011).
  • ​ “Challenging Gender Inequality within the State: Policy Agencies and Quota Laws in Latin America” with Jennifer Piscopo (equal co-authorship). In Tomáš Došek, Flavia Freidenberg, Mariana Caminotti and Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian. Women, Politics, and Democracy in Latin America. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
  • “Motherhood and Politics in Latin America: Continuity and Change,” with Susan Franceschet and Jennifer Piscopo. In Melanee Thomas and Amanda Bittner, eds., Mothers and Others: Understanding the Impact of Family Life on Politics, (British Colombia Press, 2017).
  • “Promoting Gender Equality: Michelle Bachelet and Formal and Informal Institutional Change within the Chilean Presidency.” In Georgina Waylen, ed. Gender, Institutions and Change in Bachelet’s Chile (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2016).
  • "Un estado más incluyente: La regenerización de la Presidencia en Chile con Michelle Bachelet," in Claudia Mora, ed. Desigualdad en Chile: La Continua Relevancia del Género, (Colección Sociología, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, 2014).
  • “Transnational Feminist Activism and Globalizing Women’s Movements” with Melinda Adams (equal co-authorship). In Robert A. Denemark. The International Studies Encyclopedia. (Blackwell Publishing, 2010): 7170-7188.