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Women’s Rights in Democratic Transitions: A Global Sequence Analysis 1900–2012

Journal article
Authors Yi-Ting Wang
Patrik Lindenfors
Aksel Sundström
Fredrik Jansson
Pamela Paxton
Staffan I Lindberg
Published in European Journal of Political Research
Volume 56
Issue 4
Pages 735-756
ISSN 0304-4130
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 735-756
Language en
Links onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111...
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


What determines countries’ successful transition to democracy? This article explores the impact of granting civil rights in authoritarian regimes and especially the gendered aspect of this process. It argues that both men's and women's liberal rights are essential conditions for democratisation to take place: providing both women and men rights reduces an inequality that affects half of the population, thus increasing the costs of repression and enabling the formation of women's organising – historically important to spark protests in initial phases of democratisation. This argument is tested empirically using data that cover 173 countries over the years 1900–2012 and contain more nuanced measures than commonly used. Through novel sequence analysis methods, the results suggest that in order to gain electoral democracy a country first needs to furnish civil liberties to both women and men.

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