Christina Ewig

Faculty Director, Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy
presidential and legislative politics; social welfare policy; elections and voting behavior; gender; democracy; health care policy; international development

Christina Ewig joined the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in 2016 as professor and faculty director of the Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy.  As the faculty director of the Center, Professor Ewig brings the Center global expertise and works to expand the Center’s reach across campus, the Twin Cities, and the globe. Professor Ewig also heads the Gender and Public Policy Concentration within the MPP and teaches its foundational course, PA 5601 Global Survey of Gender and Public Policy. 

Professor Ewig specializes in gender, race, and electoral politics; gender, race, and social policy; gender and international development and health policy. In her current research, she is investigating whether electing more women and indigenous peoples to national political office in Latin America has resulted in policy agendas that favor greater equality for these groups, or not. Much of the existing research assumes that women and racially marginalized groups will find similar pathways to what is called “substantive representation.”  Yet Professor Ewig’s preliminary research shows that in fact the patterns may be quite different, at least in Latin America. Using an intersectional approach, this research also considers the intersections between women’s and indigenous political strategies and the roles of indigenous women in these politics. The project focuses on the Andean countries of Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador.

Professor Ewig’s research also includes the politics of health policy formation and its implementation in Latin America. In her award winning first book, Second-Wave Neoliberalism: Gender, Race and Health Sector Reform in Peru, she demonstrated how some market-oriented reforms, such as fees for services, had pernicious effects on women due to their concentration among lower income earners and due to their reproductive health care needs. Her intersectional focus, however, revealed that market-inspired decentralization, on the other hand, was beneficial for indigenous women in Peru, as it allowed greater local administration and thus complied with local demands for culturally sensitive health care practices. She concludes that to achieve gender equity, understood intersectionally, social policies must be universal in their reach, but also attentive to the differing needs of specific sub-populations. The book won the Flora Tristán award for best book on Peru from 2010–11 by the Peru Section of the Latin American Studies Association, and was subsequently published in Spanish by the well-respected Instituto de Estudios Peruanos. Professor Ewig then expanded this research agenda, investigating the effects of health sector reforms on equity in Chile, Colombia and Brazil; each considered regional models of health sector reform.

Professor Ewig’s research has been supported by a number of sources, including a Fulbright New Century Scholars award, and a Rockefeller Residential fellowship. Her research has appeared in the journals Comparative Political Studies, Feminist Studies, Latin American Politics and Society, Latin American Research Review, Politics & Gender, Social Politics, Social Science & Medicine, and World Development.  Professor Ewig earned a PhD in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She previously was Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Recent Publications

Forging Women’s Substantive Representation: Intersectional Interests, Political Parity and Pensions in BoliviaPolitics & Gender. 2018, 14(3):433-459.
The Reactive Left: Gender Equality and the Latin American Pink Tide” (with Merike Blofield and Jennifer M. Piscopo). Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society vol. 24 no. 4. 2017. pp. 345–69.
Latin America’s Left-Turn and the Political Empowerment of Indigenous Women” (with Stéphanie Rousseau). Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society vol 24 no 4, 2017, pp. 425–51.
The Left Turn and Abortion Politics in Latin America” (with Merike Blofield) Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society vol. 24 no. 4, 2017, pp. 481–510.
"Reform and Electoral Competition: Convergence Towards Equity in Latin American Health SectorsComparative Political Studies. 2016, 49(2): 184-218. 

In The Media

Professor Christina Ewig was interviewed for this story on the gendered impact of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Star Tribune
April 6, 2020

Professor Christina Ewig, faculty director of the Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy, is quoted in this story on how female workers are being impacted more severely during the coronavirus outbreak. 

MPR News
April 3, 2020