Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Published In

Oxford Handbook Of American Political Development


The study of gender in American political development (APD) challenges the efficacy for advancing women’s political inclusion of a liberal tradition valorizing principles of individual equality and positing a separation of the family and the state. Masked are ways in which gender roles and the family are integral to governance and state-building. Gender is both a dependent and an independent variable in APD. Shaped by institutions and policies of the state, it also shapes institutions and policies that promote women’s political citizenship and expand the state’s capacity for social provision—by asserting not only liberal claims of women’s equality with men, but also by invoking maternalist claims based on women’s difference from men, thereby challenging and altering relationships between public and private spheres.


gender, liberalism, maternalism, citizenship, equality, political incorporation, rights, state-building, suffrage, women

Published By

Oxford University Press


Richard Valelly, S. Mettler, And R. Lieberman


This material was originally published in The Oxford Handbook of American Political Development edited by Richard Valelly, Suzanne Mettler, and Robert Lieberman, and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. For permission to reuse this material, please visit