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The Suffragist Peace: How Women Shape the Politics of War

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A book talk with Robert Trager, Professor of Political Science, UCLA

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A deep and historical examination of how the political influence of women at the ballot box has shaped the course of war and peace.

In the modern age, some parts of the world are experiencing a long peace. Nuclear weapons, capitalism and the widespread adoption of democratic institutions have been credited with fostering this relatively peaceful period. Yet, these accounts overlook one of the most dramatic transformations of the 20th century: the massive redistribution of political power as millions of women around the world won the right to vote.

Through gripping history and careful reasoning, this book examines how the political influence of women at the ballot box has shaped war and peace. What would a world ruled by women look like? For more than a hundred years, conventional wisdom held that women's votes had little effect. That view is changing - it turns out that women voters had a profound effect on the world we know and in ways we hardly understand. A world ruled by women's voices is a world that is less willing to fall in love with war as a noble end in itself, less prone to lapse into violence for the sake of maintaining an image. In other words, it is the world we live in now, more so than we have ever realized.


Order The Suffragist Peace: How Women Shape the Politics of War from Oxford University Press.



Robert F. Trager is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles and International Governance Lead at the Centre for the Governance of AI. His current research focuses on international governance of advanced AI, economic models of technology races, industry cooperation for the public benefit in safety-critical industries, and other topics. He has written two books and numerous articles in leading social science journals. His award-winning research has been covered in popular press outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR and Foreign Affairs. In addition to UCLA, he has taught at Yale and Oxford Universities, held an Olin Fellowship at Harvard University, and worked in investment banking in New York.



Kal Raustiala holds the Promise Institute Chair in Comparative and International Law at UCLA Law School and is a Professor at the UCLA International Institute, where he teaches in the Program on Global Studies. Since 2007 he has served as Director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations. From 2012-2015 he was UCLA’s Associate Vice Provost for International Studies and Faculty Director of the International Education Office. Professor Raustiala's research focuses on international law, international relations, and intellectual property. His latest book, the biography of the late UN diplomat, civil rights figure, and UCLA alum Ralph Bunche The Absolutely Indispensable Man: Ralph Bunche, the United Nations, and the Fight to End Empire was just published by Oxford University Press.