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Female Electability in the Arab World: The Advantages of Intersectionality

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Many studies of women's electability in the developing world focus on single traits such as gender, ethnicity, or religion. Employing an original survey experiment in Jordan, we examine the impacts of multiple, intersecting candidate identities on voter preferences. We show empirically that existing theories of electoral behavior alone cannot account for women's electability. An intersectional lens that considers how power structures shape electability and produce complex effects that must be empirically verified in different contexts is needed. Although less electable overall, female candidates fare as well as males from similar social identity groups. Our findings underscore the need to apply intersectionality to theories of electoral behavior in the developing world and lay the groundwork for a larger research agenda explaining women's electability in Arab elections.
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Keywords: ELECTORAL POLITICS; GENDER AND POLITICS; JORDAN; MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA; RELIGION AND POLITICS; SURVEY EXPERIMENT; TRIBAL POLITICS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2021

This article was made available online on August 10, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Female Electability in the Arab World: The Advantages of Intersectionality".

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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