Primed for Violence: The Role of Gender Inequality in Predicting Internal Conflict


Caprioli, Mary. 2005. “Primed for Violence: The Role of Gender Inequality in Predicting Internal Conflict.” International Studies Quarterly 49 (2): 161-78.

Author: Mary Caprioli


We know, most notably through Ted Gurr's research, that ethnic discrimination can lead to ethnopolitical rebellion-intrastate conflict. I seek to discover what impact, if any, gender inequality has on intrastate conflict. Although democratic peace scholars and others highlight the role of peaceful domestic behavior in predicting state behavior, many scholars have argued that a domestic environment of inequality and violence–structural and cultural violence–results in a greater likelihood of violence at the state and international level. This project contributes to this line of inquiry and further tests the grievance theory of intrastate conflict by examining the norms of violence that facilitate a call to arms. And in many ways, I provide an alternative explanation for the significance of some of the typical economic measures–the greed theory–based on the link between discrimination, inequality, and violence. I test whether states characterized by higher levels of gender inequality are more likely to experience intrastate conflict. Ultimately, the basic link between gender inequality and intrastate conflict is confirmed–states characterized by gender inequality are more likely to experience intrastate conflict, 1960-2001.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2005

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