The Gendered Peace Premium

59 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2021 Last revised: 31 May 2023

Date Written: March 27, 2023


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

Blair, Christopher and Schwartz, Joshua, The Gendered Peace Premium (March 27, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Christopher Blair (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

Joshua Schwartz

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States


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