Unmarried queens were more likely to be attacked, married ones were bigger attackers3 min read 28 Apr 2017, 11:16 AM IST
Research shows that European states ruled by queens were more likely to engage in war than the ones led by kings, between 1480 and 1913
Would greater female political leadership lead to lesser conflict among countries? Evidence from European politics between the 15th and 20th century suggests otherwise. European states led by queens were more likely to engage in war than the ones led by kings, according to research by Oeindrila Dube, professor at the University of Chicago, and S.P. Harish, post-doctoral fellow at McGill University. Specifically, married queens were more likely to pursue war as they could often enlist the support of their spouse to oversee military affairs and forge alliances, which reflected prevailing gender norms. On the other hand, married kings were less inclined to utilize a similar division of labour. The paper also shows that unmarried queens were more vulnerable to attacks compared to kings, while married ones were likely to be bigger attackers in comparison to married kings. While the authors do not draw any simple extrapolation from these findings for current times, they do suggest that largest gender-based effects would rise in weakly institutionalized settings, where families continue to play a large role in trust in leadership.