Milestones

Frances Rosenbluth dies at 63

She was the first woman to chair the political science department.

Michael Marsland

Michael Marsland

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Frances McCall Rosenbluth, the Damon Wells Professor of Political Science, died from cancer on November 20 at the age of 63. The daughter of missionaries, she was born in Osaka and later made Japan the subject of her scholarship in comparative politics. She also studied gender inequality, cowriting an influential book called Women, Work, and Politics: The Comparative Political Economy of Gender Inequality.

More recently, with her longtime partner, Sterling Professor of Political Science Ian Shapiro, she wrote Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself, a look at voter alienation in democracies.

Rosenbluth came to Yale in 1994. She would become the first woman to chair the political science department.

In addition to her respected scholarship, Rosenbluth was known to students as a teacher and a mentor. She won both the DeVane and Hixon teaching prizes, and her recent course, Sex, Markets, and Power, was capped at 460 students—the most that could fit in the Law School Auditorium. Political science chair Gregory Huber described her as “a force of nature who was a ceaseless advocate for her students, peers, and the larger Yale and scholarly communities.”  

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