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Constitutional Law, Gender, Executive Power


Does the allocation of power between the legislative and executive branches, and the way we define the scope of the executive affect whether women ascend to executive office? In this article, Professor Monopoli argues that the constitutional process of boundary-drawing between the legislative and executive branches of government has implications for how successful women will be in ascending to executive positions. She posits that the Hamiltonian vision of an expansive executive with plenary power is the model least likely to result in women’s ascending to executive office. The essay traces the philosophical heritage of Hamilton’s vision and outlines the empirical research that links voter perceptions about competence to the gender of candidates. It explores the stagnating progress of women in American politics in a post-September 11th environment and concludes that the choice of a more communal executive model, rather than an exclusively agentic one, may help reverse that trend and may actually result in a more effective executive.

Publication Citation

115 Yale Law Journal 2643 (2006).


Constitutional Law | Law and Gender