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Gender, War, and World Order: A Study of Public Opinion, Richard C. Eichenberg

Reviewed by Lihi Ben Shitrit



What we know about the differences between men and women on questions of national security and the use of military force is still largely informed by research on the United States. But there is a growing interest and a body of literature that seeks to expand our knowledge to other regions and countries in a way that would allow us to make comparisons and draw more generalizable accounts. Richard C. Eichenberg’s study is an important addition to this work. Using a vast amount of data from numerous surveys in more than 60 countries and related to different conflicts and issues of national security, Gender, War, and World Order offers some crucial interventions on key questions: Are there gender differences in public opinion on national security? Do these vary across issues, countries, and periods? And if there are indeed cross-national gender differences, what explains them?

Perhaps the first and most important finding is that there is extremely large variation in the so-called gender gap in national security preferences. Any essentialist view that considers women globally to be somehow invariably more pacifist in terms of national security than men is quickly put to rest. Eichenberg shows us that while there are indeed gender differences across many countries, with women displaying less hawkish views in comparison with men, there are no issues on

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