The Taking of Foggy Bottom? Representation in US Diplomacy

  • Sylvia Bashevkin
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations book series (SID)


This chapter examines women’s numerical and substantive representation in the domain of US foreign policy, focusing on the Department of State as the main institutional pivot of American diplomacy. It argues that despite increases over time in appointments to senior positions, women’s proportions long remained considerably weaker in roles commanding greater responsibility and higher remuneration than in those with less prestige and lower pay (notably clerical posts). To the extent that females reached elite posts before the rise of second-wave feminism, they were generally assigned as ambassadors to small states with limited influence in international politics. Moreover, the influence of progressive feminist interests on foreign policy directions since 1980 has tended to ebb and flow depending upon which party’s candidate resided in the White House.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvia Bashevkin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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