Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Are Important: Assistant Professor From Georgetown University Jamil Scott in Austria

More+Events ♦ Published: February 1, 2023; 23:49 ♦ (Vindobona)

Assistant Professor Jamil Scott from Georgetown University was present in Vienna at Amerika Haus and in Linz at Johannes Kepler University to talk about political behavior in different aspects.

Assistant Professor Jamil Scott Discussed Political Behaviour at a Round Table at the Amerika Haus in Vienna. / Picture: © U.S. Embassy Vienna

Jamil Scott, assistant professor at Georgetown University, visited Austria for a three-day program in Vienna and Linz to discuss political behavior. She spoke at round tables with experts and representatives of minority groups, led a workshop for Austrian teachers, gave media interviews, and gave a lecture at the Amerika Haus.

The latter was moderated by journalist and historian Vanessa Spanbauer and focused on how gender, race, and ethnicity affect an individual's decision to run for office, vote, or engage in politics, both in the United States as well as in Austria.

Jamil Scott at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz

“People who are politically active and take part in a wide range of political activities are central to the functioning of our democracy. These people should reflect the diversity of our community,” said Deputy LH. Mag. Christine Haberlander, Chairwoman of Academia Superior, in her opening statement. Women are still politically underrepresented in Austria and the USA. One of the reasons Scott cited for the United States was that campaigns for political office require a lot of money and the political office itself takes a lot of time. This demands much more from women in particular. Unlike men, the question often arises between a political career, family, and children. Accordingly, one sees in the USA that women with older children in particular run for office.

The scientist from Georgetown University named family upbringing, education, and the media landscape as important factors for more female participation in politics. These anchor in people's minds either a passive or an active approach to political thinking and engagement. "Who with the principle 'You see a problem? Then do something about it' growing up has a higher tendency to get involved later in life," says Scott, describing one of her research results. What is often overlooked is that "politics" does not only happen at the national or state level. The expert emphasizes that it is also politics when you campaign for small changes in the immediate environment, in the community, or in clubs and actively participate in the discourse there.

Jamil Scott cited positive encouragement and encouragement as an immediate way to increase diversity in politics: "Often it’s encouragement from acquaintances that gets people into politics." Here she sees active politicians and parties as having a particular responsibility to approach women or members of minorities in an encouraging manner. Above all, she certifies that women's quotas have a high internal party effect: "They mean that a party has to think more about how it can meet this quota in the long term," says the expert. However, she also sees mentorship as a powerful tool. This means that established politicians take on those women who want to start anew in politics and give them active support.

About Jamil Scott

Jamil Scott is an assistant professor in Georgetown University's Department of Government. In addition, she co-teaches Race and Ethnicity Quantitative Methods at the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods.

The purpose of Scott's research is to discover how political elites and the mass public behave in a United States context. Her research focuses on how race and gender influence participation in activities such as running for office and voting. As well as considering the impact of race and gender on candidates' and officeholders' decision-making, her work considers how these identities affect public perceptions of these individuals.

U.S. Embassy Vienna

Academia Superior