Associate Professor of Political Science
Areas of Expertise
Gender politics, political parties, interest groups, mass behavior, American politics and American political development, women and politics, agenda-setting and issue framing
The former director of Notre Dame’s Program in American Democracy, Wolbrecht is co-author of a study published in the Journal of Politics that shows the more women politicians are made visible in national news coverage, the more likely young women are to become politically active. Her award-winning book “The Politics of Women’s Rights: Parties, Positions, and Change” demonstrates how the Republican and Democratic parties have helped transform, and have been transformed by, American public debate and policy on women’s rights. Wolbrecht explores the politically charged developments that have contributed to a redefinition and expansion of the women’s rights agenda since the 1960s, including legal changes, the emergence of the modern women’s movement, and changes in patterns of employment, fertility and marriage. She is currently engaged in several collaborative projects: Using new ecological inference techniques to investigate women’s voting behavior after suffrage, examining the impact of public policy debates on attitudes about homosexuality, and explaining the changing positions of the American political parties on education policy.