Inequality and Insurgency in India: a disaggregated analysis of the link between gender inequality and armed conflict

Led by Louise Olsson
Jan 2015 - Dec 2018

Prior research has found robust support for a relationship between gender inequality and increased risk of violent armed conflict on the country-level. Research has also indicated that better gender equality potentially could serve to improve a society’s capacity to resist violence. 

However, many propositions for why inequality would be related to violent conflict rely on notions about norms, grievances and capacity which operate at a local level and which, hence, may not be fully captured by country-level data. In fact, both violent conflict and inequality vary significantly within countries, not least in a country as large and diverse as India. 

As recent media debates have displayed, India is a country wrestling with gender inequality. Moreover, India has seen multiple armed conflicts affecting many of its states and union territories. 

By combining fieldwork with statistical analysis of new micro-level data on India’s 640 districts, this project seeks to improve our understanding of the mechanisms behind inequality and violent conflict. Thereby, the project makes a unique contribution to the ongoing international debate on why gender matters for international peace and security.

  • This project is conducted together with Erika Forsberg, Uppsala University. 
  • Funded by the Swedish Research Council.



Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Olsson, Louise (2021) Examining Gender Inequality and Armed Conflict at the Subnational Level, Journal of Global Security Studies. DOI: 10.1093/jogss/ogaa023.

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