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Free Content Urgency and ambition: the influence of political environment and emotion in spurring US women’s candidacies in 2018

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This article analyses publicly reported statements of motivation by non-incumbent women US House candidates in 2018 to assess the role of negative emotions, particularly those cued by catalysing events like the 2016 presidential election, in women candidate emergence. Findings reveal that Democratic non-incumbent women candidates were most likely to describe negative inducements, including feelings of urgency, anger and/or threat, as motivating candidacy, with these emotions slightly more evident in white women’s statements. This indicates that women’s candidacies can emerge, at least in part, from perceptions that the costs of not running are too high to stay on the sidelines.
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Keywords: candidate emergence; candidate motivation; emotion; political ambition; threat; women candidates

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Rutgers University-Camden, USA

Publication date: February 2020

This article was made available online on January 9, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Urgency and ambition: the influence of political environment and emotion in spurring US women’s candidacies in 2018".

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  • The European Journal of Politics and Gender (EJPG) is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes international, cutting-edge research in the broad field of politics and gender. EJPG is the flagship journal of the European Conference on Politics and Gender (ECPG).

    EJPG is firmly embedded in global politics and gender scholarship, its scope is not limited to Europe. EJPG aims to advance gender and politics research in all its diversity. To this end it publishes Research Articles in the wide field of gender and politics, including a variety of geographical and thematic foci, methods and epistemological traditions. Contributions may rely on single-country case studies as much as cross-national comparative work or theoretical debates. The core criterion for publication is innovation and rigorous argumentation. Articles must have a clear 'take home message'.

    EJPG understands gender as a political phenomenon that shapes power relations. Gender is contextual and is influenced by the intersection of multiple social categories and identities. The processes produce patterns of political inclusion and exclusion that are sometimes immediately visible, but often also hidden. EJPG therefore studies formal and informal components of politics in local, national, transnational and global realms. Subfields encompass, but are not limited to: social movements; representation; political participation; governance; public policy; the European Union; political economy; conflict and development; citizenship; LGBTQI politics; sexuality; and international relations.

    EJPG solicits State of the Art pieces, which provide timely analyses of developments in the many subfields of politics and gender. These contributions focus on salient and contemporary themes. What are new research puzzles and dilemmas? Finally, EJPG includes a Gender Updates section, in which short descriptive pieces present data or analyses related to elections, policy changes, and public debates on gender-related issues across Europe. This section is a valuable resource for scholars, students, activists, and practitioners who may use this data for research and interventions in policy and public debate.

    For questions and pre-submission enquiries, please contact the editorial team at: [email protected]

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