The Gendered Peace Premium
55 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2021
Date Written: October 14, 2021
The adage that “only Nixon could go to China” suggests hawkish leaders face fewer domestic political barriers to pursuing conciliation with foreign adversaries. We explore how this conventional wisdom intersects with prominent gender stereotypes about women’s role in national security. Do gender stereotypes that women are inclined towards peace make it more difficult for women leaders to pursue conciliation? In a series of survey experiments, we find evidence of a gendered peace premium—a penalty women leaders face for pursuing peace. When women leaders propose peace with foreign adversaries, they are perceived as acting “according to type.” Consequently, women’s conciliatory policy proposals are viewed as less likely to be in the national interest than identical policies pursued by male leaders. Partisanship dynamics significantly moderate the gendered peace premium, and policy success can attenuate women leaders’ disadvantage. Overall, the results suggest that gender stereotypes may constrain women leaders from pursuing peace.
Keywords: Gender; Foreign Policy; Conciliation; Survey Experiment
JEL Classification: F51, F51, H56; J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation