Erik Melander

head of department at Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Email:
erik.melander[AT-sign]pcr.uu.se
Mobile phone:
+46 70 4250462
Visiting address:
Gamla Torget 3, 1tr
753 20 Uppsala
Postal address:
Box 514
751 20 UPPSALA

professor at Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Email:
Erik.Melander[AT-sign]pcr.uu.se
Telephone:
+4618-471 6107
Mobile phone:
+46 70 4250462
Visiting address:
Gamla Torget 3, 1tr
753 20 Uppsala
Postal address:
Box 514
751 20 UPPSALA

Short presentation

Head of Department

Also available at

My courses

Research

Research Project with Elin Bjarnegård and Karen Brounéus: Gender, Politics, and Violence in Thailand.

http://www.pcr.uu.se/research/research-themes/gender-and-conflict/gender-politics-and-violence-in-thailand/

Research Project with Elin Bjarnegård, Srisompob Jitpiromsri, Anders Engvall, and Chayanit Poonyarat: Masculinity, Nationalism and Military Service in a Conflict Zone: Surveys in Southern Thailand.

http://www.pcr.uu.se/research/research-themes/gender-and-conflict/masculinity-nationalism-and-military-service-in-a-conflict-zone/

Research project with Min Zaw Oo and Stein Tønnesson: Paths to Peace in Complex Conflict Systems: Lessons from Global Data and an In-depth Study of Myanmar.

http://pcr.uu.se/research/research-themes/peace-peacebuilding-and-reconciliation/paths-to-peace-in-complex-conflict-systems/

Some important studies of the relationship between gender equality and peace

SOCIETIES WITH MER EQUALITY BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN ARE MORE PEACEFUL

I found that more gender-equal societies are more peaceful in a study of 112 countries during the period 1965-2002 (Melander 2005a). I used two measures of gender equality: the share of parliamentarians who are women, and how common it is that women have higher education compared to how common it is that men have higher education. By peace is meant that there is no armed conflict going on in the country. The study also takes into account several alternative explanations for peace, such as democracy, levels of economic development, and the ethnical composition of the population of the country. A large number of other studies, using different measures for gender equality and peace have similarly found that more gender-equal societies are more peaceful (see, for example, Caprioli 2003, 2005; Gizelis 2009; Hudson et al. 2009; Gleditsch et al. 2011; Bjarnegård and Melander 2013; Ekvall 2013; Demeritt, Nichols, and Kelly 2014; Shair-Rosenfield and Wood, n.d.; Krause, Krause, and Bränfors 2018; Dahlum and Wig 2018).

PERSONS WHITH MORE GENDER-EQUAL VALUES ARE MORE TOLERANT AND LESS PRONE TO VIOLENCE

In an article co-authored with Elin Bjarnegård we studied 3006 individuals from five countries, and found that among both men and women those persons who have more gender-equal values are less hostile to other countries and to religious minorities in their own countries. In the study we also considered several other possible explanations of peaceful attitudes and tolerance, such as education and income levels (Bjarnegård and Melander 2017). A whole series of studies have shown similar relationships between gender-equal values on the one hand, and tolerance and lower propensity to violence on the other (see, for example, Conover 1988; Conover and Sapiro 1993; Cook and Wilcox 1991; Tessler and Warriner 1997; Tessler, Nachtwey, and Grant 1999; Togeby 1994; Barnes, Brown, and Osterman 2012; Jewkes et al. 2013; Brezina et al. 2004; Barnes, Brown, and Tamborski 2012).

TORTURE AND OTHER VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS ARE LESS COMMON IN SOCIETIES WITH MORE GENDER EQUALITY

In a study of 163 countries during the period 1975-1996, I found that the risk of residents being subjected to torture and other serious human rights violations is lower in countries with a larger proportion of women in parliament. I took into account several alternative explanations; including colonial history, regime type, and economic development level (Melander 2005b).

GENDER EQUAL COUNTRIES RUN LESS RISK OF CONFLICT WITH OTHER COUNTRIES
Several studies have found that countries with more gender equality are less likely to end up in armed conflict with other countries. Also the risks of other forms of conflict and tensions with other states are reduced (see, for example, Caprioli 2000; Caprioli and Boyer 2001; Regan and Paskeviciute 2003).

VIEWS OF MANLINESS IMPACT INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL VIOLENCE
Together with my co-authors Elin Bjarnegård and Karen Brounéus, I conducted a study of how the perception of masculinity affects participation in political violence in Thailand. We used data from a survey that we conducted in 2012-2013 which included, among other things, more than one hundred men who were strongly engaged as political activists. The men were chosen from two different political movements; the “yellow shirts” and “red shirts”. These two opposing groups have alternately taken to the streets to express their discontent; with over 100 people killed in the protests, most of them shot by the army when it clamped down on protesters. The activists were asked about their attitudes towards equal rights for men and women in society and in the family. They were also asked about their views on masculinity, or what it means to be a man. In our analysis, views on gender equality and masculinity proved to be more important in understanding participation in political violence than traditional explanatory factors such as income, unemployment, education, religious beliefs and so on. The results show for the first time that perceptions of masculinity are an important explanation for individuals' participation in political violence (Bjarnegård, Brounéus, and Melander 2017).

IN MODERN SOCIETIES, IT IS LESS COMMONON TO DEFINE MANLINESS IN TERMS OF VIOLENCE AND PRIVILEGE, AND LESS COMMON TO DEFINE FEMININITY IN TERMS OF MOTHERHOOD AND SUBORDINATION
In a study of 74 countries during the years 1980-2001, questionnaires about individuals’ views and information about countries’ levels of economic development, dominant religion and many other factors, were used to investigate how a society's modernization leads to more equal values (Inglehart and Norris 2003).

Bibliography of key studies on the relationship between gender equality and peace

Barnes, Collin D., Ryan P. Brown, and Lindsey L. Osterman. 2012. “Don’t Tread on Me: Masculine Honor Ideology in the U.S. and Militant Responses to Terrorism.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 38 (8): 1018–29.

Barnes, Collin D, Ryan P Brown, and Michael Tamborski. 2012. “Living Dangerously Culture of Honor, Risk-Taking, and the Nonrandomness of ‘Accidental’? Deaths.” Social Psychological and Personality Science 3 (1): 100–107.

Bjarnegård, Elin, Karen Brounéus, and Erik Melander. 2017. “Honor and Political Violence: Micro-Level Findings from a Survey in Thailand.” Journal of Peace Research 54 (6): 748–61. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343317711241.

Bjarnegård, Elin, and Erik Melander. 2013. “Revisiting Representation: Communism, Women in Politics, and the Decline of Armed Conflict in East Asia.” International Interactions 39 (4): 558–574.

———. 2017. “Pacific Men: How the Feminist Gap Explains Hostility.” The Pacific Review 30 (4): 478–93. https://doi.org/10.1080/09512748.2016.1264456.

Brezina, Timothy, Robert Agnew, Francis T Cullen, and John Paul Wright. 2004. “The Code of the Street A Quantitative Assessment of Elijah Anderson’s Subculture of Violence Thesis and Its Contribution to Youth Violence Research.” Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 2 (4): 303–328.

Caprioli, Mary. 2000. “Gendered Conflict.” Journal of Peace Research 37 (1): 51–68.

———. 2003. Gender Equality and Civil Wars. Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction Unit, Social Development Department, Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network, World Bank.

———. 2005. “Primed for Violence: The Role of Gender Inequality in Predicting Internal Conflict.” International Studies Quarterly 49 (2): 161–178.

Caprioli, Mary, and Mark A Boyer. 2001. “Gender, Violence, and International Crisis.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 45 (4): 503–518.

Conover, Pamela Johnston. 1988. “Feminists and the Gender Gap.” The Journal of Politics 50 (4): 985–1010.

Conover, Pamela Johnston, and Virginia Sapiro. 1993. “Gender, Feminist Consciousness, and War.” American Journal of Political Science 37 (4): 1079–99.

Cook, Elizabeth Adell, and Clyde Wilcox. 1991. “Feminism and the Gender Gap—A Second Look.” The Journal of Politics 53 (4): 1111–1122.

Dahlum, Sirianne, and Tore Wig. 2018. “Peace Above the Glass Ceiling: The Historical Relationship Between Female Political Empowerment and Civil Conflict.” SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 3255504. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=3255504.

Demeritt, Jacqueline H. R., Angela D. Nichols, and Eliza G. Kelly. 2014. “Female Participation and Civil War Relapse.” Civil Wars 16 (3): 346–68. https://doi.org/10.1080/13698249.2014.966427.

Ekvall, Åsa. 2013. “Gender Equality, Attitudes to Gender Equality, and Conflict.” In Gendered Perspectives on Conflict and Violence: Part A, 18A:273–95. Advances in Gender Research 18A. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-2126(2013)000018A015.

Gizelis, Theodora-Ismene. 2009. “Gender Empowerment and United Nations Peacebuilding.” Journal of Peace Research 46 (4): 505–523.

Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede, Julian Wucherpfennig, Simon Hug, and Karina Garnes Reigstad. 2011. “Polygyny or Misogyny? Reexamining the ‘First Law of Intergroup Conflict’?” The Journal of Politics 73 (01): 265–270.

Hudson, Valerie M, Mary Caprioli, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Rose McDermott, and Chad F Emmett. 2009. “The Heart of the Matter: The Security of Women and the Security of States.” International Security 33 (3): 7–45.

Inglehart, Ronald, and Pippa Norris. 2003. Rising Tide: Gender Equality and Cultural Change Around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jewkes, Rachel, Emma Fulu, Tim Roselli, and Claudia Garcia-Moreno. 2013. “Prevalence of and Factors Associated with Non-Partner Rape Perpetration: Findings from the {UN} Multi-Country Cross-Sectional Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific.” The Lancet Global Health 1 (4): 208–18. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(13)70069-X.

Krause, Jana, Werner Krause, and Piia Bränfors. 2018. “Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations and the Durability of Peace.” International Interactions 44 (6): 985–1016. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050629.2018.1492386.

Melander, Erik. 2005a. “Gender Equality and Intrastate Armed Conflict.” International Studies Quarterly 49 (4): 695–714.

———. 2005b. “Political Gender Equality and State Human Rights Abuse.” Journal of Peace Research 42 (2): 149–66. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343305050688.

Regan, Patrick M., and Aida Paskeviciute. 2003. “Women’s Access to Politics and Peaceful States.” Journal of Peace Research 40 (3): 287–302.

Shair-Rosenfield, Sarah, and Reed M. Wood. n.d. “Governing Well after War: How Improving Female Representation Prolongs Post-Conflict Peace.” The Journal of Politics 0 (0): 000–000. https://doi.org/10.1086/691056.

Tessler, Mark, Jodi Nachtwey, and Audra Grant. 1999. “Further Tests of the Women and Peace Hypothesis: Evidence from Cross-National Survey Research in the Middle East.” International Studies Quarterly 43 (3): 519–531.

Tessler, Mark, and Ina Warriner. 1997. “Gender, Feminism, and Attitudes toward International Conflict: Exploring Relationships with Survey Data from the Middle East.” World Politics 49 (02): 250–281.

Togeby, Lise. 1994. “The Gender Gap in Foreign Policy Attitudes.” Journal of Peace Research 31 (4): 375–392.

Publications

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