The Gendered Effects of Violence on Political Engagement

Citation:

Hadzic, Dino and Margrit Travis. 2019. “The Gendered Effects of Violence on Political Engagement.” The Journal of Politics 81 (2): 676-80. 
 

Authors: Dino Hadzic, Margrit Travis

Abstract:

How does civil conflict affect political engagement? As violence of various forms—from war to terrorism—is becoming more frequent even in the developed world, understanding its political consequences is a pressing concern. We argue that violence makes citizens view politics as more combative and aggressive. Because the traits that align with these perceptions (e.g., dominance, aggressiveness, decisiveness) are associated more with masculinity than femininity, we hypothesize that violence increases engagement among men while reducing it among women. To test our argument, we conduct an experiment in Bosnia, the site of a major ethnic civil war in 1992–95. The evidence confirms that past violence, when made salient, leads women to express significantly less and men significantly more desire to engage in politics. We conclude from these findings that violent conflict can introduce disparities in political engagement across gender, underscoring a significant challenge policy makers face in postconflict societies.

 

Keywords: political engagement, gender, violence, postconflict, Eastern Europe

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Development, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Post-Conflict, Political Participation, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Europe, Balkans Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina

Year: 2019

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