Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Political Science


Political Science

Major Professor

Frank, Richard W.

Second Advisor

Huelshoff, Michael G.

Third Advisor

Stein, Elizabeth


Studies of terrorism have explored a number of factors thought to drive the phenomenon. Authors often tie socioeconomic development to reducing terrorism. Among structural explanations of terrorism, however, authors generally neglect the effect of gender inequality, though studies show that gender inequality increases the risk of international and civil conflict. Therefore I explore the impact of gender inequality in important socioeconomic issues on terrorism for 143 countries from 1998-2009. I argue that socioeconomic gender inequality reflects poor state capacity, resulting in grievances that contribute to domestic non-suicide and suicide terrorism. I study gender inequality in the areas of education, labor participation, and life expectancy. Results indicate that education and life expectancy inequality increase the risk of terrorism, while labor inequality is unrelated. While the time frame and data used in this study limit generalizability, results indicate that states should provide socioeconomic gender parity to reduce the risk of domestic terrorism.


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