Kay Lehman Schlozman

J. Joseph Moakley Endowed Professor of Political Science, Boston College
Chapter Member: Boston SSN

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About Kay

Schlozman is a political scientist specializing in the ways that American citizens take part in politics and institutions and processes that link them to public officials – citizen participation, interest groups, and parties and elections, campaign finance – with particular emphasis on the ways that such institutions and processes affect the political voice of the disadvantaged. In addition, she has expertise in gender politics and in the ways citizens use the Internet and social media for political ends.


Unequal Citizen Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy

    Henry E. Brady ,
  • Sidney Verba (1932 - 2019)

In the News

Kay Lehman Schlozman quoted on political engagement among the super rich by Daniel Strauss, "Why There Aren't More Koch-Style Billionaires in Politics" Talking Points Memo, September 3, 2014.
"Sunday Dialogue: Giving All Citizens a Voice," Kay Lehman Schlozman (with Sidney Verba and Henry E. Brady), New York Times, November 11, 2012.
"Who Speaks Loudly in Washington," Kay Lehman Schlozman (with Sidney Verba and Henry E. Brady), Boston Globe, August 26, 2012.


"The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy " (with Sidney Verba and Henry E. Brady) (Princeton University Press, 2012).
Considers from multiple perspectives the extent of class-based inequalities in political voice through both individual political participation and organized interest activity and the way that those inequalities have changed over time.
"Who Speaks?: Citizen Political Voice on the Internet Commons" (with Sidney Verba and Henry E. Brady). Daedalus 140 (2011): 121-139.
Demonstrates the way that the inequalities of political voice long characteristic of traditional political activity are replicated when political participation takes place on the Internet.
"Public Interest Groups" in CQ Press Guide to Interest Groups and Lobbying in the United States, edited by Burdett A. Loomis (CQ Press, 2011).
Investigates the nature of public interest groups in American politics, the kinds of issues on which they advocate, and the tactics they use and demonstrates that, on the one hand, the free-rider problem means that they are relatively few in number and that, on the other, their numbers have grown substantially in recent decades.
"Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism and American Politics" (with Sidney Verba and Henry E. Brady) (Harvard University Press, 1995).
Explores the roots of inequalities of political activity in everyday experiences in the family, at school, and in the workplace, religious institutions, and voluntary associations that produce differences in such resources as education, money, and political skills, in psychological orientations to politics, and in access to the networks through which requests for political participation are mediated.
"Organized Interests and American Democracy" (with John T. Tierney) (Harper and Row, 1986).
Presents a general overview of the role of organized interests in national politics, the interests they represent, the political objectives they seek, the political tactics they use, and their implications for American democracy.
"Injury to Insult: Unemployment, Class and Political Response" (with Sidney Verba) (Harvard University Press, 1979).
Explores the reasons that explain the political quiescence of those who are out of work – among them selection effects such that the unemployed are likely to have other characteristics such as low SES that predispose them not to be active in politics and the rationality for the unemployed to spend time and effort on job hunting rather than political influence.