Barnes, Mariel: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College of Arts and Sciences
Project Title: 
The Politics of Domestic Violence
Project Abstract: 
Despite innumerably advances in gender equality, Europe has a hitherto unheeded problem - its astronomical rates of violence against women, particularly by intimate partners. In defiance of assumptions about the positive correlation between development and gender equality in general, recent survey research by the EU shows that within Europe, the wealthiest countries are also the countries more gender-based violence is most prevalent. My dissertation provides a political explanation for this relationship. My central arguement is that variation in levels of gender-based violence can be explained by variation in a state's implementation and promotion of the "universal breadwinning model", which includes such policies as paid parental leave, daycare and individual taxation. While these policies help increase female economic independence, they also precipitate the unraveling of traditional gender roles, which then provokes a violent male backlash against their partners. I employ a mixed methodology that incorporates quantitative and qualitative techniques to test my theory.