Race, Gender, and War

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Nincic, Donna & Miroslav Nincic (2002) Race, Gender, and War, Journal of Peace Research 39(5).

This article seeks to improve our grasp of the societal foundations of US foreign policy by examining how race and gender - two fundamental dimensions of social stratification of US society - affect support for military force in the pursuit of external objectives. It is generally appreciated that, in the United States, women are less inclined to support armed intervention than are men, and feminist theory provides some foundation for explaining the gap. It is less widely recognized that a similar gap separates the attitudes of African-Americans and white Americans, but there is little in the social science literature to suggest why this should be so. The authors examine a number of possible explanations for the parallel, focusing both on attributes that are specific to women and blacks, and on one common to both groups (a high level of political alienation) but not shared by white men. They conclude that, while alienation partially accounts for the parallel attitudes toward force, properties specific to the two demographic groups nevertheless carry part of the burden for explaining their shared relative aversion to military intervention.

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