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The Suffragist Peace: How Women Shape the Politics of War

The Suffragist Peace: How Women Shape the Politics of War

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
12:00 PM (Pacific Time)

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"World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim Welcomes Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel" by World Bank Photo Collection. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.



If you register for and attend a Burkle Center virtual event, you will not be seen or heard via video or audio. We will be live-streaming this event on the Burkle Center’s YouTube page. The YouTube livestream will be available below at the start of the event.



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 a professor of international relations in the political science department at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on how states form beliefs about the intentions of other states, and in particular on the role of diplomatic communication; how public reactions structure the incentives of political leaders in the international system; how fairness heuristics influence preferences and equilibrium selection; and a variety of other topics.

Professor Trager’s first book, Diplomacy: Communication and the Origins of Perception is under contract with Cambridge University Press. He is also working on a project on the evolution of cultural norms among competing groups. His work has also appeared in journals such as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, International Organization, International Security, Security Studies, The New York Times, and Foreign Policy, among others.

Before joining UCLA’s faculty, Professor Trager taught at Oxford University and held an Olin Fellowship at Harvard University. He currently sits on the boards of the Burkle Center for International Relations and the Institute for Global Cooperation and Conflict and is a corporation member of the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA. He holds a BA from Middlebury College, an MSc (with Distinction) from the London School of Economics and a PhD (with Distinction) from Columbia University. Prior to graduate school, he worked in investment banking at Lehman Brothers.



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.

Sponsor(s): Burkle Center for International Relations, Political Science, Department of History