IR Seminar: “How Conflict is Affected by Gender: Female Combatants, Gender Norms & Rebel Survival”, Çağlayan Başer, 10:30AM May 22 2024 (EN)

Çağlayan Başer
Syracuse University

Title: “How Conflict is Affected by Gender: Female Combatants, Gender Norms & Rebel Survival”

Date: Wednesday, May 22nd, 10.30
Place: A-130 Seminar Room

Abstract: Existing research demonstrated that women participate in two-thirds of rebel groups in various roles, yet little is known about the conditions under which female recruitment can benefit rebel groups. I argue that groups with female combatants are more likely to survive longer than all-male groups, and that female combatants’ impact on conflict duration is conditional on the prevalence of traditional gender norms. I conduct survival analysis using a global sample of rebel groups from 1979 to 2009 at the macro-level, and at the micro-level, I leverage the district-level variation on gender norms within a single conflict using large-N data from Kurdish Armed Insurgency. The results suggest that female members’ advantage in sustaining the rebellion is only salient in societies with restrictive gender norms regarding women’s participation in public life. In contrast, female members do not appear to contribute to rebel group survivability through unique gendered ways in societies embracing more gender-egalitarian norms. The results have important research and policy implications highlighting the need to understand gender disparities as a mainstream security issue.

Bio: Çağlayan Başer is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University, Maxwell School. She researches the links between international and domestic politics via social norms and ideologies. She investigates these dynamics within the realms of gender politics, international organizations, and conflict. Methodologically, Çağlayan Başer employs statistical analyses of observational and survey experimental data, as well as qualitative case studies based on primary sources. Her work is published in World Politics, Security Studies, and Alternatif Politika. Her book project is currently under contract with Cambridge University Press.