My research is in the field of Comparative Politics with an emphasis on comparative legislatures, comparative political institutions, gender and politics, and Latin America. I employ both quantitative and qualitative research approaches to examine how institutions shape elite and mass political behavior. I completed my Ph.D. in Political Science at Rice University in 2012, where my dissertation won the John W. Garner Award for Best Dissertation in the Social Sciences and Humanities at Rice University. In 2018 I was honored to receive the Emerging Scholar Award from the Legislative Studies Section of the American Political Science Association. This award was designed to recognize a scholar who is no more than 6 years from the year of their PhD who has informed the study of legislative politics through innovative and rigorous scholarship. In 2017 I was honored with the Early Career Award from the Midwest Women's Caucus for Political Science, an award that recognizes a junior (pre-tenure) female faculty member based upon her research accomplishments and contribution to the discipline. In 2013 I was a Research Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. I have plans to spend Spring 2019 at Tulane University as the Greenleaf Scholar-In-Residence in the Stone Center for Latin American Studies.In 2017 my book, Gendering Legislative Behavior: Institutional Constraints and Collaboration (Cambridge University Press, 2017), was awarded the Alan Rosenthal Prize for the best book or article written by a junior scholar that has potential to strengthening the practice of representative democracy, by the American Political Science Association Legislative Studies Section. In this book, I ask when and why do legislators—and particularly women legislators—have incentives to collaborate? And how do different legislative institutions facilitate or constrain women's legislative collaboration? To answer these questions, I spent over 20 months in Argentina, visited 19 of the country’s 24 provinces, and collected an original dataset that combines archival data (e.g., bill cosponsorship, leadership appointments, committee appointments, incumbency) and over 200 interviews with legislators and other elite political observers. My fieldwork was supported through research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Ora N. Arnold Fellowship, and the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences. My other peer-reviewed research appears in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Political Research Quarterly, Governance, Politics & Gender and Politics, Groups, and Identities. In 2017 I won the Sophonisba Breckinridge Award from the Midwest Political Science Association for a paper co-authored with Abby Córdova. I was also awarded the best article published in Political Research Quarterly in 2017 and the Marian Irish Award in 2017 from the Southern Political Science Association for a paper I co-authored with Erin Cassese. Additionally, I have won over $150,000 in grants and fellowships to support my research.
Comparative Political Institutions
Gender and Politics
Latin American And Caribbean Politics
Representation and Electoral Systems
Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior
An interview with me and my research with Erin Cassese is quoted in a story about educated white women's support for President Trump. "In a recent paper, political scientists Erin Cassese of the University of Delaware and Tiffany Barnes of the University of Kentucky found that attitudes among white women about the prevalence of sexual discrimination predicted support in the 2016 election far more than in the past. Barnes and Cassese, using data from the University of Michigan's American National Election Studies poll, found that white women with college degrees were much more likely than white women without degrees to say that females faced discrimination in society. What's more, they found those attitudes more strongly correlated with support in the 2016 presidential race than in 2012, with female voters who believed that women faced discrimination tilting toward Clinton and those who did not leaning toward Trump."
My research on white women's support for Trump was quoted in "Women Don’t Think Alike. Why Do We Think They Do?" The article argues that conservative supporters of the president and Brett Kavanaugh aren’t betraying their gender — they’re sticking with what they believe. "Mr. Trump’s appeal to economic, racial and gender resentment, and his promise to return to old hierarchies, appealed to a segment of women even as it did to men, a study by Professor Cassese and Tiffany D. Barnes of the University of Kentucky showed. Many of these women not only scored high on the “hostile sexism” scale, they also clung to the advantage of being white as a compensation for the disadvantage of being a woman. There is no universal female experience. And, as conservative women’s support for Justice Kavanaugh shows, there is no universal female response to allegations of abuse."
My research on white women's support for Trump was quoted in a story about Kanye West's comments about masculinity and support for Trump. “The endorsement of hostile sexist attitudes and reluctance to attribute gender-based inequality in society to discrimination against women were among the strongest predictors of support for Trump,” said Tiffany Barnes, a professor at the University of Kentucky and author of “Gendering Legislative Behavior: Institutional Constraints and Collaboration.” “This is notable because in previous presidential elections, these attitudes were not strong predictors for support for [2012 GOP nominee Mitt] Romney.” Barnes and co-author Erin Cassese posited in a recent research paper that attitudes toward sexual discrimination and gender relations were closely tied to white women’s preferred candidate in 2016. Trump supporters were significantly more likely than Clinton voters to believe it is harder for women who work outside the home to “establish a warm and secure relationship with their children;” that it is better for men to work and women to “take care of the home and family;” and that women who demand equality sometimes are “actually seeking special favors.” “We often think about men as being sexist, but women and men both endorse sexist attitudes,” Barnes said. “In this sense—yes, I would say that Trump’s ‘male energy’ seemed to fuel support among individuals who endorse hostile sexism.”
My research on women's support for Trump was cited in an article gender roles in the US. This news article features an interview with my coauthor Erin Cassese. These divergent reactions continued a long pattern of polls documenting a persistent gap among different groups of American women about shifting gender roles. Cassese and Tiffany Barnes of the University of Kentucky found in a recent study that attitudes among white women about the prevalence of sexual discrimination predicted support in the 2016 presidential election far more than in the past. Results from the University of Michigan's 2016 American National Election Studies poll provided by Cassese reveal a head-turning difference between white women who voted for Hillary Clinton and for Trump on fundamental questions of gender relations. Among the striking results: Three-fifths of white women who voted for Trump said it is "harder for mothers who work outside the home to establish a warm and secure relationship with their children than it is for mothers who stay at home." Only about two-fifths of white female Clinton voters agreed. Nearly half (47%) of white female Trump voters agreed it is better "for the family as a whole if the man works outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family." Only about one-in-six white female Clinton voters agreed. (Fewer than one in 10 college-educated white female Clinton voters agreed.) Over three-fourths of white female Trump voters agreed that at least some of the time "when women demand equality these days" they were "actually seeking special favors." About three-fifths of white female Clinton voters said that was never the case.
My research was cited in an article about women's support for supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
My research was cited in an article about women's support for supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. "Dittmar pointed to recent research conducted by Erin Cassese and Tiffany Barnes, political scientists at the University of Delaware and University of Kentucky, respectively, showing that Republican women are much closer to Republican men in their attitudes about gender issues – particularly sexism – than they are to Democratic women."
My research on female defense ministers (with Diana O'Brien) is cited in the article "Europe's defence minister roles become female stronghold." "The increasing number of female defence ministers has attracted the attention of academics. In a 2015 study, US researchers Tiffany Barnes and Diana O’Brien studied the more than 40 countries that have so far appointed women to the post. They found that equality between men and women in a country was a good predictor of when it would appoint a female defence chief – but that military dictatorships and countries with big defence budgets tended not to. “Large military expenditures suggest a political climate that is not conducive to changing norms of female exclusion,” the academics concluded."
My research on female defense ministers (with Diana O'Brien) was cited in Bloomberg News and reprinted or featured in a dozen other news outlets: Il Giornale (Italian), Courier Quotidiano (Italian), Formiche (Italian), Capital (Greek), Differ News (Greek), UOL Economia (Portuguese), Diario Gestión (Portuguese) Defensa Net (Portuguese), Brasil Soberano e Livre (Portuguese), Exame (Portuguese) hk01 (Chinese), Thể thao & Văn hóa (Vietnamese).
My research on female defense ministers with Diana O'Brien was cited: "Interestingly, there have been various studies about the trend of women being appointed to defense positions. One of these studies was conducted in 2015 by Tiffany Barnes and Diana O’Brien. The researchers found that gender equality in any given country was an accurate indicator of whether the country would appoint a female defense chief. This finding is encouraging, as it indicates that 5 of the most prominent countries in the EU are serious about gender equality."
My research on female defense minsters was cited in a Italian Magazine. "In uno studio ad hoc, Tiffany Barnes dell’University of Kentucky e Diana O’Brien dell’Indiana University hanno sottoscritto e aggiunto: “La femminilità è spesso associata alla pace e per i governi che cercano di dissociarsi da una storia di abusi del potere militare, la nomina di un ministro della difesa femmina può rappresentare la rottura rispetto al passato, un segnale di cambiamento e di rinnovo”.
My research with X and X on split ticket voting was featured in Arte Politica (an Argentine news site). "En este trabajo (próximo a ser publicado en el Journal of Politics) los politólogos Tiffany Barnes, Carolina Tchintian y Santiago Alles llevan adelante una investigación a partir de la estrategia antes mencionada: la implementación parcial a gran escala (en las elecciones de 2011) es utilizada para determinar a que grupos se “aplica el tratamiento” (ie: que mesas utilizan el sistema electrónico para emitir su voto y cuales siguen utilizando el tradicional sistema de boletas partidarias) como si fuera un experimento (la asignación a los grupos no fue aleatoria)..."
This oped (coauthoed with Erin Cassese and Mirya Holman) draws on our research to explain how hostile sexism shapes politics.
This OpEd (with Erin Cassese & Heather Ondercin) was published in conjunction with Gender Watch 2018. Here we draw on our research to explain how we can understand the gender gap in the run-up to the 2018 mid-term elections.
Diana O'Brien and I provide an overview of our research: "Defending the Realm: The Appointment of Female Defense Ministers Worldwide."
My article, "Restoring Trust in the Police: Why Female Officers Reduce Suspicions of Corruption," with Emily Beaulieu and Gregory Saxton was featured in this blog post. The post provides a clear non-technical summary of the research article.
I coauthored a blog post with Santiago Alles and Carolina Tchintian about our research on ballot structure and split ticket voting. The blog post is in Spanish.