Jean C. Robinson


IU Bloomington Provost's Medal (2016)
IU Bloomington Provost's Medal
Location: Bloomington
W. George Pinnell Award for Outstanding Service (2008)
Indiana University Bloomington
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Political Science
President's Award for Teaching (1996)
Indiana University Bloomington
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Political Science
Fulbright Award (1989)
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Indiana University Bloomington


Professor Robinson is interested in social change and social movements, especially those movements that are directed at achieving greater levels of equality among people. Currently she is involved in an extensive research project that examines debates among Americans over equality politics in education policy, analyzing at both the federal and several state levels attempts to establish equality in education through programs such as Title IX and equalization of funding policies. This research is funded by The Spencer Foundation and she is working with a legal scholar (Professor Julia Lamber) and a sociologist (Professor Pamela Barnhouse Walters) on the 5-year project, which has also supported a number of grad students in Political Science, as well as Sociology and Law.

Originally, Professor Robinson was trained as a comparativist at Cornell University and did research on China. From that area focus, she extended to other (now former) communist countries (especially Poland), and then to Western Europe (primarily France.) Her second area is contemporary political thought, especially feminism. In addition to her research on education equality, she is continuing work on the formation of social policies by examining the negotiations among individual citizens (particularly women), organized social movements (particularly women's movements) and representatives of political power and the state.

Professor Robinson has published a wide variety of studies, including her co-edited book with Janet E. Johnson (IU Political Science Ph.D.) Living Gender After Communism (2006) and a study on abortion policy in France (2001). She works extensively with graduate students and has published several pieces with them. She is a founding member of the international research group RNGS (Research Network on Gender, Politics and the State.) Work with RNGS include contributions to the volumes on Comparative State Feminism (1995) and to Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State (2001). Professor Robinson was editor of Women and Social Policy: From Local to Global (NWSA Journal, 2001) and has also published numerous articles on social policy, gender, and equality in edited volumes, as well as journals such as The China Quarterly, Policy Studies Review, Polity, Asian Survey, and Comparative Education Review.

Other avenues of research include collaborative multi-method work as the PI on an NSF project on the Recruitment and Retention of Women in Information Technology, with publications in venues such as Women's Studies, Journal of Educational Computing Research, Gender & IT, and Women and Information Technology.

Professor Robinson usually teaches courses in comparative politics and in feminist theory, with topics on morality, religion and public policy; feminist political thought; gender and the state; cross-cultural studies of gender, sexuality and the family; and nation and gender. She is not currently teaching as she is serving fulltime as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Professor Robinson has been Director of Women's Studies and Dean for Women's Affairs at IU. She served as Director of Undergraduate Studies in the department as well as Director of Graduate Studies, and as Director of the Leadership Ethics and Social Action program (LESA) housed in the department. In 2007-08 Professor Robinson was Interim Dean of IU's Hutton Honors College.

She has received two NSF grants as well as funding from other major federal agencies. She has been involved in the development of the Advanced Placement Exams in Comparative Government and Politics, having served as chair of that program from 1996-99 and now as chief of the grading process for the AP Examination in Comparative Government and Politics. Professor Robinson is recipient of the Indiana University President's Award for Distinguished Teaching (1996), of the George Pinnell Distinguished Service Award (2007), and of eight other teaching and service awards. She received the national Pi Sigma Alpha Teaching Award in 2004.