School of Social and Political Science

Sarah Liu

Job Title

Senior Lecturer in Gender and Politics

Sarah Liu

Research interests

Research interests

Gender, women's and social movements, Women's political representation, Women's political participation, Migration and citizenship, Media, East Asian politics

Sarah's research focuses on the cross-national comparison of gender and politics, specifically the ways contexts shape the gender gap in political attitudes and activities. She employs a mixed methodologies in her research. Specifically, utilizing multilevel modeling approaches, her work examines the influence of female political leaders on women’s political participation. Particularly, her research investigates the role model effect of cabinet ministers in democracies, a previously ignored political arena, and the role model effect of legislators in Asia, a grossly underexplored area in extant studies. She also evaluates how social movements affect adolescents’ attitudes toward gender roles and propensity to protest.

In Gendering Immigration: Media Framing of Immigration and Public Opinion on the Huddled Masses, she analyzes gender in media framings of immigration and immigrants and the varying media framings’ impacts on citizens’ attitudes about immigrants. Employing cross-national content analysis and survey experiments, she investigates the gender/gendered differences in the media constructions of immigration and their effects on native citizens’ acceptance of male and female immigrants in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Topics Interested in Supervising

Sarah is able to offer PhD supervison in areas related (but not limited) to her research interests, such as gender politics,  immigration, social movements, media, political opinion and behavior, and Asian politics. She particularly welcomes prospective students with innovative research ideas and approaches to studying the role of gender in politics.

If you are interested in being supervised by Sarah Liu, please see the links below (open in new windows) for more information:


Dr Sarah Liu is a Senior Lecturer in Gender and Politics at the University of Edinburgh. She joined the subject area of Politics and International Relations in January 2019, having previously taught at Newcastle University, Smith College, and the Pennsylvania State University.

Sarah was an Associate Editor of Representation: Journal of Representative Democracy and Coordinating Editor of Politics, Groups, and Identities. Currently, she sits on the editorial board of Political Behavior and the Journal of Taiwan Studies. Sarah has been recognised as one of the 50 influential scholars by Apolitical Foundation and an Emerging Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity

Sarah holds a dual PhD in Political Science and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. Sarah obtained an M.A. in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management at the World Learning SIT Graduate Institute and a B.A. in American Studies and Studio Art with a minor in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame.

For more information about Sarah, please visit her website.


Sarah has had the pleasure to design and teach Gender and Politics, Understanding Gender in the Contemporary World, Politics of Immigration, Chinese Politics, East Asian Politics, Global Feminisms, Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies, and Research Methods in Politics. She also contributes to numerous other courses as guest lecturers. She translates her analysis of gender in her research into course materials that engage students’ interests in exploring critical questions about gender in political institutions and social structures. 


Peer-Reviewed Articles and Chapters

Liu and Wan, T.A. COVID success? For whom?: Examining the political representation of migrants in Taiwan, Ethnic and Racial Studies (forthcoming)

Liu, S. Autocratization and Gender Equality in Southeast Asia, Routledge Handbook of Autocratization in Southeast Asia, Routledge, forthcoming.

Liu, S. Conducting survey research while a feminist: taking intersectional and decolonial approaches, Intersectional Feminist Research Methodologies: Applications in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Routledge, forthcoming. 

Liu, S., A Feminist Critique of Peaceful Assembly, Oxford Handbook of Peaceful Assembly. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Liu, S. and Hughson, S. Why does representation of the marginalized matter? Teaching classic literature from intersectional and decolonial approaches, Journal of European Political Science, first published online on May 12.

Blell, M., Liu, S., and Verma A., Working in Unprecedented Times: Intersectionality and Women of Colour in British Higher Education in and beyond the Pandemic, Gender, Work & Organization 30, 40(2), pp.353-372.

Blell, M., Liu, S.J.S. and Verma, A., 2022. ‘A one-sided view of the world’: women of colour at the intersections of academic freedom. The International Journal of Human Rights, pp.1-20.

Hall-Lew, L., Cowie, C., Lai, C., Markl, N., McNulty, S.J., Liu, S.J.S., Llewellyn, C., Alex, B., Elliott, Z. and Klingler, A., 2022. The Lothian Diary Project: sociolinguistic methods during the COVID-19 lockdown. Linguistics Vanguard8(s3), pp.321-330.

Abdellatif, A., Aldossari, M., Boncori, I., Callahanm J., Chaudhry, S., Kivinen, N., Liu, S., Nwosu, Pullen, A., Utoft, E., N., Vershinina, N., and Yarrow, E., Pullen, A., Breaking the Mold: Working through our Differences to Vocalize that Sound of Change, Gender, Work and Organization, published online first on June 23, 2021.

Banaszak L.A, Liu, S., and Tamer, B.M., Learning Gender Equality: Women’s Movement Influence on Youth Attitudes in a Comparative Perspective. Politics, Groups, and Identities, published online first on May 27, 2021. 

Hall-Lew, L., Cowie, C., McNulty, S., Markl Nina, Liu, S., Lai, C., Llewelyn, C., Alex, B., Fang, N., Elliott, Z., and Klinger, A. The Lothian Diary Project: Investigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Edinburgh and Lothian residents, Journal of Open Humanities Data, published first online on April 16, 2021.

Liu, S. “Too Feminine to be a Leader? Systematic Implicit Biases against Women Politicians” in P. Loewen, E. Goodyear-Grant, & E. Tolley (ed.) Women, Power, and Political Representation: Canadian and Comparative Perspectives. University of Toronto Press.

Liu, S., Stigmatizing the Already Stigmatized LGBT+: Destigmatization as a Long-Term Solution for COVID-19. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity, published first online on January 21, 2021.

Liu, S., 2021. Gendering immigration: media framings of the economic and cultural consequences of immigration. Feminist Media Studies, published first online on January 6, 2021.

Elstub, S., Liu, S. and Lühiste, M., 2020. Coronavirus and Representative Democracy. Representation: Journal of Representative Democracy, published first online on November 13, 2020.

Liu, S., 2020. Gender gaps in political participation in Asia. International Political Science Review, published first online on August 7, 2020.

Liu, S., Gender, Migration, and News in K. Ross (ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication. Wiley-Blackwell Press, published online first on July 8, 2020.

Liu, S. Framing Immigration: A Content Analysis of Newspapers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.K. and the US. Politics, Groups, and Identities. Published first online on October 16, 2019.

Liu, S. Chinese Migrant Wives in Taiwan: Claiming Entitlement, Resisting Inequality, and Rejecting Citizenship. International Feminist Journal of Politics. Published first online on May 3, 2019.

Liu, S. Are Female Political Leaders Role Models? Lessons from Asia. Political Research Quarterly, 71, no. 2 (2018): 255-269.

Liu, S. & Banaszak, L.A. Do Government Positions Held by Women Matter? A Cross-National Examination of Female Ministers’ Impact on Women’s Political Participation. Politics & Gender 13, no. 1 (2017): 132-162.

Book Review

Review of Monica Liu. Seeking Western Men: Email-Order Brides under China's Global Rise. The Journal of Asian Studies. (2024): 157-159. 

Thematic Review: Women in Power: The Fight for a Seat in the Boys’ Club. Women Take Their Place in State Legislatures: The Creation of Women's Caucuses. By Anna Mitchell Mahoney. Temple University Press, 2018. 258 pp. $99.50 (hardcover), $29.25 (paperback). A Seat at the Table: Congresswomen's Perspectives on Why Their Presence Matters. By Kelly Dittmar, Kira Sanbonmatsu, and Susan J. Carroll. Oxford University Press, 2018. 272 pp. $99.00 (hardcover), $27.95 (paperback). Women as Foreign Policy Leaders: National Security and Gender Politics in Superpower America. By Sylvia Bashevkin. Oxford University Press, 2018. 290 pp. $74 (hardcover). Politics & Gender, pp.1-8.

Review of Torben Iversen and Frances Rosenbluth. Women, Work, and Politics: The Political Economy of Gender Inequality. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 2010. vii + 201 pp. International Feminist Journal of Politics.

Research Reports 

Liu, S., Hall-Lew, L., McNulty, S. Markl, N., Lai, C., Alex, B., Llwellyn, C., & Gillespie-Smith, K. 2021. Lockdown in the Lothians: Insights from the Lothian Diary Project.

Liu, S., Hall-Lew, L., McNulty, S. Markl, N., Lai, C., Alex, B., Llwellyn, C., & Gillespie-Smith, K. 2021 Looking into the Future: Learning Lessons from the Youths of the Lothian Diary Project.

Kenny, M., Liu, S., & McKay, F. 2021. I just didn’t see anyone like me: Women’s experiences in Scottish media, creative, and cultural industries.


Liu, S. and Liu, L. Taiwan election 2024: how presidential candidates left women voters unimpressed. Conversation UK, February 26.

Liu, S. Women Political Leaders Resign at the Peak of Their Career: What Are We Not Talking About? Political Insight, December.

Liu, S., Hall-Lew, L., Llwelyn, C., Markl, N., and McNulty, S., Gendered OVID-19: How

Scotland Experienced the Lockdown. GenderED blog, February 5, 2021

Liu, S., Where do Women Stand in Politics?: A Case Study of Asia. PSA blog, January 20.

Liu, S. Liu, S. Taiwan’s First Female President Easily Won Reelection: Are Asian Women Taking Note? Washington Post Monkey Cage, February 10.

Liu, S. "Cracking Gender Stereotypes? Challenges Women Political Leaders Face.Political Insight 10, no. 1 (2019): 12-15.

Liu, S. Am I an Asian Woman or a Woman who is AsianDiscover Society, July 2019.

Liu, S. & Wang, A. Taiwan votes on 10 referendums this week. Here’s what you need to knowThe Washington Post – Monkey Cage, November 21.

Liu, S. Why are Asia’s women politicians facing a backlash? The Conversation, May 31.

Liu, S. Posey, P. & Reuning, K. Who were the protesters at the Democratic National Convention this week? The Washington Post – Monkey Cage, July 29.

Liu, S. Posey, P. & Reuning, K. Three surprising facts about the protesters at the Republican National ConventionThe Washington Post – Monkey Cage, July 24.

Selected Media Engagement

France 24, BBC World, BBC Radio, BBC Radio London, BBC Radio Scotland, Rocking Our Priors podcast, RaceED podcast, AdvanceHE podcast, the Institute for Research on Public Policy podcast, Nikkei Asia, Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News, United Daily News of Taiwan

Staff Hours and Guidance

Semester 2 (2020/21): Wednesdays 9:00am - 10:00am and 12:00pm-1:00pm