State Fragility and Structural Gender Inequality in Family Law

An Empirical Investigation

Authored by: Donna Lee Bowen, Valerie M. Hudson, and Perpetua Lynne Nielsen

Categories: Statebuilding, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Human Development, National Security Forces and Armed Groups
Country: Afghanistan
Region: Middle East and North Africa
Year: 2015
Citation: Bowen, Donna, Valerie M. Hudson, Perpetua Lynne Nielsen. "State Fragility and Structural Gender Inequality in Family Law: An Empirical Investigation." Laws 4, (2015): 654-672.

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This paper examines the linkage of male-dominant family law systems and levels of nation-state security and stability. The authors expect such societies to be predisposed to parasitical rent-seeking and inefficiency, combined with coercive conflict resolution, resulting in higher levels of violence within the society. The paper demonstrates empirically that states with inequitable family law also exhibit higher levels of state fragility. Using standard indicators of state stability and security, the empirical results show that the ability to predict levels of state stability and security is significantly enhanced by examining a measure of Inequity in Family Law in addition to more conventional explanatory variables such as literacy rate, level of democracy, and civilizational influence.