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

  • Hicks, Daniel L.
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    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.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 60-81

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:31:y:2013:i:c:p:60-81
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

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