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

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  • Selin Dilli

    (Universiteit Utrecht)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Selin Dilli, 2013. "The Role of Female Agency in Politics: A Global Study, 1850-2000," Working Papers 0038, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0038
    as

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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
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    3. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    4. 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, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, May.
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    8. Sarah Guilland 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 0019, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
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    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:04:p:903-910_09 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Keywords

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

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