Governing Well after War: How Improving Female Representation Prolongs Post-conflict Peace

Authored by: Sarah Shair-Rosenfield and Reed M. Wood

Categories: Statebuilding, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Democratization and Political Participation, Peacemaking, Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Region: No Region
Year: 2017
Citation: Sarah Shair-Rosenfield and Reed M. Wood, "Governing Well after War: How Improving Female Representation Prolongs Post-conflict Peace," The Journal of Politics 79, no. 3 (July 2017).

Access the Resource:


Previous studies suggest that women’s access to political power often increases following the termination of civil conflicts, particularly those ending in negotiated settlement. However, the effect of these changes has received limited attention. The authors argue that the proportion of female representatives in a national legislature prolongs peace following a negotiated settlement. Moreover, they highlight two mechanisms through which greater female representation reduces the risk of conflict recurrence: (1) by prioritizing social welfare spending over military spending and (2) by improving public perceptions of good governance and the credibility of political elites. They further argue that legislative independence and authority conditions this relationship, implying that greater female representation is more likely to promote peace in states with nominally democratic political institutions. Their empirical analyses of peace duration following negotiated settlements between 1946 and 2011 provide robust support for their general argument and the underlying mechanisms they believe drive this relationship.