Melanie M. Hughes, PhD


2611 Wesley W. Posvar Hall


My primary interests lie in the study of gender and politics across countries. I have published numerous articles on the topic in journals such as American Sociological Review, American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, and Social Forces. I coauthored a book titled Women, Politics, and Power: A Global Perspective, now in its Fourth Edition (Rowman & Littlefield, March 2020). I am particularly interested in the ways that gender intersects with other forces of marginalization to influence women’s political power. My book manuscript in progress investigates the political dominance of men from racial, ethnic, and religious majority groups worldwide.  I also work hard to connect my research to policymakers, practitioners, and the public. For the past five years, I have been collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to increase the availability of data on gender equality in public administration.

Fields of Interest

  • Gender & Politics
  • Intersectionality
  • Transnational Political Sociology
  • Quantitative Methods


  • PhD, The Ohio State University, 2008

Explaining the Persistent Overrepresentation of Majority Men in Politics Worldwide (book manuscript).

“Democracy and the Adoption of Gender Quotas Worldwide” with Elin Bjårnegard, Pamela Paxton, and Pär Zetterberg.

“On the Move? How Mobility and Leadership Training Affect Women’s Career Advancement in Danish Public Administration” with Müge Finkel and Caroline Howard Grøn

“‘In the Yard but Not in the House’: The Political Incorporation of Immigrants in Swedish Municipal Governance.” With Olle Folke and Johanna Rickne

“Inter-Organizational Relations in Transnational Environmental and Women’s Activism: Multilateralists, Pragmatists, and Rejectionists” with Jackie Smith, Samantha Plummer, and Brittany Duncan

Forthcoming. Arana Araya, Ignacio, Melanie M. Hughes, and Aníbal Pérez-Liñán. “Judicial Reshuffles and Women Justices in Latin America.” American Journal of Political Science.

2020. Paxton, Pamela, Melanie M. Hughes, and Tiffany D. Barnes. Women, Politics, and Power: A Global Perspective, 4th Edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

2019. Plummer, Samantha, Melanie M. Hughes, and Jackie Smith. “The Challenges of Organizational Classification: A Research Note.” Social Currents. Online First. doi:10.1177/2329496519878469.

2019. Hughes, Melanie M., Pamela Paxton, Amanda B. Clayton, and Pär Zetterberg. “Global Gender Quota Adoption, Implementation, and Reform.” Journal of Comparative Politics 51(2):219–238.

2018. Childs, Sarah, and Melanie M. Hughes. “‘Which Men?’ How an Intersectional Perspective on Men and Masculinities Helps Us Understand Women’s Persistent Political Under-Representation.” Politics & Gender 14(2):282–287.

2018. Hughes, Melanie M., Pamela Paxton, Sharon Quinsaat, and Nicholas Reith. “Does the Global North Still Dominate the International Women’s Movement? A Network Analysis of Women’s International Nongovernmental Organizations, 1978-2008.” Mobilization 23(1):1–21.

2018. Tripp, Aili Mari, and Melanie M. Hughes. “Methods, Methodologies, and Epistemologies in Gender and Politics Research.” European Journal of Politics & Gender 1(1-2):241–257.


Social Research Methods

Sociology of Gender



Applied Regression Analysis

Digital/Critical Interdisciplinary Methods

Gender and Politics

Gender Equality and the United Nations

Intersectionality Today

Quantitative Analysis for Publication

2019-21. Pitt Seed Project Award. “Raising GIRL: Gender Inequality Research Lab at Pitt” with Müge Finkel. Office of the Chancellor. $49,603.

2019-20. United Nations Development Programme. “Gender Equality in Public Administration: 2020 Global Report” with co-PI Müge Finkel. $73,100.

2019-20. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures. “Information Ecosystems: Creating Data (and Absence) from the Quantitative to the Digital Age” with Michael Colaresi, Michael Dietrich, Alison Langmead, Ruth Mostern, Lara Putnam, Werner Troes

2018-19. Faculty Fellow, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies

2018-19. Integrative Social Science Research Initiative Award. “The Global Glass Ceilings Database: Measuring Women's Access to Decision-making in Public Administration Worldwide” with Müge Finkel. Office of the Provost. $44,688.

2017-19. Central Research Development Fund. “Armed Conflict and Gender Equality in Public Administration” with co-PI Müge Finkel, $16,000.

2013-16 National Science Foundation. “Transnational Networks amid Global Crisis and Change” with co-PI Jackie Smith. SES-1323130, $172,795.