Jennifer Lawless

Fast Facts

  • Chair, UVA Department of Politics
  • Author or co-author of six books
  • Editor of the American Journal of Political Science
  • Expertise on women and politics, campaigns and elections, political media

Areas Of Expertise

  • Domestic Affairs
  • Media and the Press
  • Governance
  • Elections
  • Politics

Jennifer L. Lawless is the Leone Reaves and George W. Spicer Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and chair of the UVA Department of Politics. She is also has affiliations with UVA’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Miller Center.

Her research focuses on political ambition, campaigns and elections, and media and politics. Her most recent book, News Hole: The Demise of Local Journalism and Political Engagement, won the Harvard Shorenstein Center 2023 Goldsmith Prize for Best Academic Book. Lawless is also the author or co-author of seven other books, including Women on the Run: Gender, Media, and Political Campaigns in a Polarized Era (with Danny Hayes) and It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office (with Richard L. Fox). Her research, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation, has appeared in numerous academic journals and is regularly cited in the popular press.

Lawless is the co-editor in chief of the American Journal of Political Science. She graduated from Union College with a BA in political science and Stanford University with an MA and PhD in political science. In 2006, she sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in Rhode Island’s second congressional district. Although she lost the race, she remains an obsessive political junkie.

Jennifer Lawless News Feed

“Democratic women, independent women, and pro-choice voters have been mobilized by the decision to overturn Roe,” says Jennifer Lawless, a political scientist at the University of Virginia.
Jennifer Lawless The Christian Science Monitor
“It will happen someday. I don’t see it happening quickly unless, heaven forbid, a president with a female vice president dies in office or is asked to leave.”
Barbara Perry, Jennifer Lawless UVA Today
Jennifer Lawless, a political science professor at the University of Virginia, countered that right-wing pundits, not Swift, are “injecting partisan politics into football.”
Jennifer Lawless The Washington Post
Former President Donald Trump prevailed over his lone opponent, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, in the New Hampshire Republican primary Tuesday. Jennifer Lawless, professor of politics at the University of Virginia, joins CBS News to examine Haley's campaign performance so far.
Jennifer Lawless CBS News
Given marked increases in women’s numeric representation throughout the past two decades, many might expect the gender gap in political ambition to have begun to close. Results from our new study of potential candidates, however, reveal that the magnitude of the gender gap is just as large 20 years later.
Jennifer Lawless PS: Political Science & Politics
Fewer Americans following the news is “a problem on multiple levels,” said Jennifer Lawless, a politics and public policy professor at the University of Virginia.
Jennifer Lawless The Seattle Times