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The Role of Female Agency in Politics: A Global Study, 1850-2000

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  • Selin Dilli

    (Universiteit Utrecht)

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    Abstract

    Over the last 200 years, an upward trend in democracy has been observed both cross-nationally and within nations. Previous studies attributed a major role to the developmental, historical, and more recently diffusional characteristics in explaining this democratization process. Although these predictors are robust predictors of democracy, they neglect the role of gender inequalities in democratic outcomes. In its attempt to overcome this shortcoming, this study introduces the concept of “female agency” to study the impact of gender inequalities on the democratization process. The results of both panel data and cross sectional data analysis show that women’s unequal position, both in the private and in the public sphere, are meaningful sources of explanation for within and cross national differences in democracy. This implies that future studies in democratization should include a gendered and capability perspective to have a full understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

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    File URL: http://www.cgeh.nl/sites/default/files/WorkingPapers/CGEH.WP_.No38.Dilli%20%281%29.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History in its series Working Papers with number 0038.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0038

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    Postal: University of Utrecht, Drift 10, The Netherlands
    Web page: http://www.cgeh.nl
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    Related research

    Keywords: female agency; women's empowerment; democracy; political outcomes;

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    1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, 06.
    3. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A. & Yared, Pierre, 2009. "Reevaluating the modernization hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1043-1058, November.
    4. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Anand Swamy & Stephen Knack & Young Lee & Omar Azfar, 2000. "Gender and Corruption," Center for Development Economics 158, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    6. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
    7. Sarah Carmichael & Tine De Moor & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2011. "“When the heart is baked, don’t try to knead it”: Marriage age and spousal age gap as a measure of female ‘agency’," Working Papers, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History 0019, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
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