At this year's WPSA conference in Seattle, 27 political theory panels exclusively featured presentations by men. That is almost one quarter (24%) of the 114 panels sponsored by political theory sections. Of these 27 panels, women served as discussant on only two, leaving 25 panels that involved only men in any substantive role. 19 panels did not even involve a woman as chair, seating only men at the table.
No commensurate space of participation emerged for female-dominated panels. Only 6 panels (5% of 114) exclusively featured presentations by women. Men served as discussant on two of these panels, leaving four panels that involved only women in substantive roles. Three panels were exclusively female, less than one-sixth the number of exclusively male panels.
The sections sponsoring political theory panels were Environmental Political Theory, chaired by Brad Mapes-Martins and Cheryl Hall, Political Theory and Its Applications, chaired by J.S. Maloy, Political Theory: Critical and Normative, chaired by Peter Breiner, and Political Thought: Historical Approaches, chaired by Keally D. McBride. Two of these five chairs are women.
Of the political theory sections, Political Theory: Critical and Normative sponsored the greatest number and the highest proportion of panels with only men in substantive roles: 10 of 38, or 26%. Environmental Political Theory was a close second for proportion of substantively all male panels: 4 of 16, or 25%. By this measure, Political Theory and Its Applications came the closest to gender parity: only 5 of their 33 panels, or 15%, were substantively all male. All four political theory sections can and should do better, but chair J.S. Maloy should be commended for the relatively high integration of women into his section's panels.