State Fragility and Structural Gender Inequality in Family Law: An Empirical Investigation Academic Article uri icon


  • In this paper we examine the linkage of male-dominant family law systems and levels of nation-state security and stability. We expect such societies to be predisposed to parasitical rent-seeking and inefficiency, combined with coercive conflict resolution, resulting in higher levels of violence within the society. We demonstrate empirically that states with inequitable family law also exhibit higher levels of state fragility. Using standard indicators of state stability and security, our empirical results show that the ability to predict levels of state stability and security is significantly enhanced by examining a measure of Inequity in Family Law in addition to more conventional explanatory variables such as literacy rate, level of democracy, and civilizational influence.

published proceedings

  • Laws

author list (cited authors)

  • Bowen, D. L., Hudson, V. M., & Nielsen, P. L.

complete list of authors

  • Bowen, Donna Lee||Hudson, Valerie M||Nielsen, Perpetua Lynne

publication date

  • October 2015