In Memoriam: Frances McCall Rosenbluth, 1958-2021

Frances McCall Rosenbluth, Damon Wells Professor of Political Science at Yale University died on November 20 at her home in Hamden, Connecticut. She was 63 years old and had suffered from cancer.

Dr. Rosenbluth was born in Osaka, Japan, where her parents were Presbyterian missionaries. She grew up in Japan and Taiwan. Professor Rosenbluth was a graduate of the University of Virginia. She held a master’s degree in international affairs and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. After teaching at the University of Virginia, the University of California, San Deigo, and the University of California, Los Angeles, she joined the faculty at Yale University in 1994. She continued to teach at Yale up to a few days before her death.

At Yale, Rosenbluth was the first woman chair of the department of political science; the deputy provost for the social sciences and faculty development; the director of the Program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics; the director of undergraduates studies for East Asian Studies; the chair of the publications committee for Yale University Press; the chair of the Leitner Program in Political Economy as well as, most recently, the co-director of the Leitner Program in Effective Democratic Governance at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

Dr. Rosenbluth’s first book, Financial Politics in Contemporary Japan (1989), took on scholarly orthodoxy when she argued that assumptions about Japan as a unique culture, where political and economic dynamics that prevailed elsewhere had to be treated differently, was wrong. This, as well as her early analysis that the Japanese economy was neither as efficient nor as viable as it appeared to most commentators, proved to be right. She was c0-author or co-editor of several other books including Women, Work, and Politics: The Political Economy of Gender Inequality (Yale University Press, 2010).

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