Submission Date


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Johannes Karreth

Committee Member

Rebecca Evans

Committee Member

Jose Eduardo Cornelio

Department Chair

Jonathan Marks

Project Description

Research has found that women in politics are important for representation and women’s rights, but can women’s increasing involvement in politics also stabilize fragile democracies? This research analyzes the relationship between women in politics and democratic consolidation, asking whether and how women help consolidate democracies and prevent the erosion of democratic institutions. I show initial quantitative evidence suggesting that under some conditions, women in politics reduce the probability of democratic erosion. In the main part of the project, using a case study of the Dominican Republic, I take a closer look at the work women have done for a newly established democracy. First, I will discuss the impact the Mirabal Sisters had at toppling the autocratic ruler Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Secondly, I discuss the role of female activists in making democracy effective in the Dominican Republic. Lastly, I report results from three in-depth interviews with women with ties to the Dominican Republic and their perception of women’s role in securing and maintaining democracy. The project lends additional relevance to the study of women in politics.