Melanie M. Hughes, PhD

Associate Professor of Sociology

Link to my CV |


I am currently Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. My primary interests lie in the study of gender and politics across countries. I am particularly interested in the ways that gender intersects with other forces of marginalization to influence women's political power.

I am Deputy Editor of Gender & Society, the official journal of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS). Gender & Society is a top-ranked journal in both sociology and women's studies. See the journal's blog here.

I work to connect my research to policymakers, practitioners, and the public. I have collaborated with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve the measurement of women's political leadership worldwide, and I am currently working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to improve the availability and quality of data on gender equality in public administration (GEPA).

I also appeared in a 2014 documentary on the political socialization of girls called Raising Ms. President.

Selected Articles

Forthcoming. 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. Download

2017. Hughes, Melanie M., Pamela Paxton, and Mona Lena Krook. "Gender Quotas for Legislatures and Corporate Boards." Annual Review of Sociology 43:331-52. Download

2017. Smith, Jackie, Samantha Plummer, and Melanie M. Hughes. "Transnational Contention and Changing Organizational Fields in the Late-20th and Early-21st Centuries." Global Networks 17(1):3-22. Download

2016. Hughes, Melanie M. "Electoral Systems and the Legislative Representation of Ethnic Minority Muslim Women in the West, 2000-2010." Parliamentary Affairs. Published online January 28. doi:10.1093/pa/gsv062. Download

2015. Hughes, Melanie M. and Lisa D. Brush. "The Price of Protection: A Trajectory Analysis of Civil Remedies for Abuse and Women's Earnings." American Sociological Review 80(1):140-165. Download

2015. Hughes, Melanie M. and Aili Mari Tripp. "Civil War and Trajectories of Change in Women's Political Representation in Africa, 1985-2010." Social Forces. Published online February 12. doi:10.1093/sf/sov003. Download

2015. Hughes, Melanie M., Mona Lena Krook, and Pamela Paxton. "Transnational Women's Activism and the Global Diffusion of Gender Quotas." International Studies Quarterly. Published online March 12. doi:10.1111/isqu.12190. Download

2015. Paxton, Pamela and Melanie M. Hughes. "The Increasing Effectiveness of National Gender Quotas, 1990-2010." Legislative Studies Quarterly 40(3):331-362. Download

Last updated: October 19, 2017

My Book

Book Cover: Click link to purchase.

3rd Edition now available from CQ Press,, as well as from other online retailers.