Christian Dyogi Phillips

May 2, 2022

Nowhere to Run

Race, Gender, and Immigration in American Elections

Oxford University Press 2021

Why has the underrepresentation of women and racial minorities in elected office proved so persistent in American politics? In Nowhere to Run: Race, Gender, and Immigration in American Elections (Oxford UP, 2021), Dr. Christian Dyogi Phillips argues that any analysis must contend with multiple dimensions of identity, context, and the simultaneous dynamism of opportunity and constraint. Complementing previous studies with her original datasets and rich interviews, Phillips demonstrates how two simultaneous and interactive processes shape electoral opportunity across groups. At the national level, majority-white districts sharply limit realistic opportunities for Latinx and Asian Americans of either gender to get on the ballot – and partisan politics further narrows prospects for women from these groups. At the local and group level, within districts and among Asian American and Latinx political elites and activists, the scarcity of viable opportunities exacerbates informal processes and institutions that tend to push Latinas and Asian American women further from the pipeline. Phillips’s integration of national and local-level processes reveals that the pathways to getting on the ballot are few and far between for Latinx and Asian Americans – and especially fraught with prospects for exclusion of Latinas and Asian American women. Race and gender simultaneously constrain and facilitate electoral opportunities for Asian American women and men, Latinas, and Latinos. These sharp differences in opportunities across groups help explain persistent underrepresentation among elected officials.

Dr. Christian Dyogi Phillips is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California. Her research addresses political behavior, electoral institutions, and political incorporation, with an emphasis on the intersection of race, gender and immigrant communities in American politics.

Daniella Campos assisted with this podcast.

Susan Liebell is Dirk Warren '50 Professor of Political Science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

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