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War and the political zeitgeist: Evidence from the history of female suffrage

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  • Hicks, Daniel L.

Abstract

Despite the upheaval associated with warfare, empirical evidence linking conflict with institutional development is limited. This paper examines the hypothesis that international wars accelerated democratization by fostering political inclusion. Employing survival analysis, I find that during the 20th century, nations engaging in external conflict were more than twice as likely to extend the franchise to women in the post-conflict period, even after controlling for other commonly cited determinants of suffrage adoption. I explore several potential mechanisms for this association and find evidence consistent with stories which connect war with increased national unity, ideological fervor, and international posturing. Finally, examining conflict-induced changes in sex ratios and female labor force participation suggests that the underlying determinants of suffrage expansion at the national and sub-national level differ.

Suggested Citation

  • Hicks, Daniel L., 2013. "War and the political zeitgeist: Evidence from the history of female suffrage," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 60-81.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:31:y:2013:i:c:p:60-81
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2013.04.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Aguirre, Alvaro, 2016. "The risk of civil conflicts as a determinant of political institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 36-59.
    2. repec:eee:poleco:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:108-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:kap:copoec:v:28:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10602-017-9241-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Nikolova, Elena & Nikolova, Milena, 2017. "Suffrage, labour markets and coalitions in colonial Virginia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 108-122.
    5. Anna Maria Koukal & Reiner Eichenberger, 2017. "Explaining a Paradox of Democracy: The Role of Institutions in Female Enfranchisement," CREMA Working Paper Series 2017-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    6. Christopher Ellis & John Fender, 2016. "Information Aggregation, Growth, And Franchise Extension With Applications To Female Enfranchisement And Inequality," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 239-267, April.
    7. Tridimas, George, 2015. "War, disenfranchisement and the fall of the ancient Athenian democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 102-117.
    8. Gay, Victor & Boehnke, Jörn, 2017. "The Missing Men: World War I and Female Labor Participation," MPRA Paper 77560, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    War; Female suffrage; Franchise extension; Institutional change; Historical development;

    JEL classification:

    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making

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