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Kathleen Fallon



Professor and Chair
Ph.D. 2002, Indiana University

Areas of Interest

political sociology, social movements, gender, international development, Africa


Professor Fallon's interests lie within political sociology, international development, and gender studies. Specifically, she focuses on women’s social movements, women’s political rights, women's health, and democracy within sub-Saharan Africa, as well as across developing countries more broadly. She has done in-depth field research within Ghana, examining the influence of democratization on women’s rights and the emergence of the women’s movement, in addition to studying the influence of the international women's movement on local activism. Through comparative analyses across developing countries, and using both qualitative and quantitative methods, she has also researched how types of democratic transitions influence women's political representation, how women's legislative representation is linked to children's health outcomes, and how women's activism contributes to the spread of women's political quotas.  She is currently working on projects that examine the effects of maternity leave policies on fertility and child health outcomes, as well as exploring what factors contribute to the passage of domestic violence laws across developing countries.



Selected Publications

Kim, Jessica* and Kathleen Fallon. 2020. “The Political Sociology of Democracy: From Measurement to Rights,” in  The Handbook of Political Sociology, eds. I. Martin, T. Janosky, J. Misra, C. De Leon. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Sommer, Jamie* and Kathleen Fallon. 2020. “ The Pathway to Improving Human and Economic Development: Girls’ Secondary Education, Governance, and Education Expenditures .”  Social Forces. 99(1): 205–229.  

Fallon, Kathleen, Anna-Liisa Aunio, and Jessica Kim. 2018. "Decoupling International Agreements from Domestic Policy: The State and Soft Repression." Human Rights Quarterly 40(4): 932-961.

Fallon, Kathleen, Alissa Mazar, and Liam Swiss.  2017. " The Benefits of Maternity Leave."  World Development. 96: 102-118.

Fallon, Kathleen  and Heidi E. Rademacher. 2017. "Social Movements as Women's Political Empowerment:  The Case for Measurement." in  Measuring Women's Political Empowerment , eds. A. Alexander, C. Bolzendahl, and F. Jalalzai. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Swiss, Liam and Kathleen Fallon. 2016. " Women's Transnational Activism, Norm Cascades, and Quota Adoption in the Developing World ." Politics and Gender. 13(3), 458-487.

Fallon, Kathleen and Julie Moreau. 2016. " Revisiting Repertoire Transition: Women's Nakedness as Potent Protests in Nigeria and Kenya ." Mobilization 21(3) 323-340

Swiss, Liam, Kathleen Fallon, and Giovani Burgos. 2012. "Reaching a Critical Mass: Women's Political Representation and Child Health in Developing Countries”   Social Forces  91(2): 531-58.

Fallon, Kathleen, Liam Swiss, and Jocelyn Viterna.  2012.  "Resolving the Democracy Paradox: How Democratization Affects Women’s Legislative Representation in Developing Nations."    American Sociological Review  77(3): 380-408.

Fallon, K. 2008.   Democracy and the Rise of Women’s Movements in Sub-Saharan Africa . Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Viterna J., and Fallon K. 2008. Democratization, Women’s Movements, and Gender-Equitable States: A Framework for Comparison.   American Sociological Review  74(3): 668-689.