Gender Equality and Conflict : Gendered Determinants of Armed Conflict, Violent Political Protest, and Nonviolent Campaigns
Abstract: Women’s rights are not only acknowledged as fundamental human rights, but have also been linked to matters of peace and security by scholars and policymakers. This composite dissertation explores how gender equality affects conflict, specifically armed conflicts, violent political protests, and nonviolent campaigns. Nonviolent campaigns and violent political protests are often omitted from conflict literature that explores the gendered determinants of conflict. Scholarship has additionally paid little rigorous attention to how we quantitatively examine the relationship between gender equality and armed conflict. Essay I offers a global study on the effects of gender equality on nonviolent campaigns and armed conflicts. I argue that gender equality affects movements’ mobilization expectations and societal conflict norms, subsequently impacting the choice of armed conflict or nonviolent campaigns. Essay II examines the gendered determinants of nonviolent campaign participation through a survey study on the 2006 Jana Andolan II movement in Nepal. I put forward what I call the gendered participation paradox: while women, compared to men, may suffer from equal or higher levels of grievances, they have fewer resources with which to translate grievances into campaign participation. Essay III introduces a new UCDP dataset on violent political protests. It includes a short exploration of the effects of gender equality on violent protest. Essay IV re-visits comparative country-level quantitative research investigating the relationship between gender equality and armed conflict. It highlights three areas to be improved if we are to advance this field further: construct validity, sampling, and data quality. Essay I finds that increases in gender equality are associated with an increased likelihood of nonviolent conflict compared to armed and no conflict. Essay II finds support for the gendered participation paradox. Essay III describes the data collection and demonstrates the data’s utility through empirical analyses. In an illustration, it finds that lower levels of gender equality are associated with higher levels of violent political protests. Essay IV identifies construct validity, data quality and sampling concerns in research on the effects of gender equality on armed conflict. I show that past findings are less robust than expected. I re-examine the relationship and find, using out-of-sample validation, that gender equality improves the prediction of armed conflict. This dissertation contributes by taking a broad perspective when exploring the effects of gender equality on conflict by incorporating -alongside armed conflict- nonviolent campaigns and violent political protests.
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