Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Dara Kay Cohen – Who Supports War and Why? Sources of the Gender Gap in Support of War

Thursday, March 1, 2018

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room


New research confirms that Haitian men are far more likely to support the use of force to solve foreign policy problems than Haitian women. Harvard Kennedy School associate professor Dara Kay Cohen will speak about how new survey and experimental research conducted in Port-au-Prince shows that this gender gap is shaped by perceptions of the relative costs of war for men and women.

These patterns are largely driven by young, economically disadvantaged men who lack social trust, echoing previous research that found such men are a root of political unrest, and illuminating one previously overlooked source of the gender gap.

Dara Kay Cohen is an associate professor of public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Her research and teaching interests span the field of international relations, including international security, civil war and the dynamics of violence, and gender and conflict.

Her research has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, World Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, International Security, and Stanford Law Review, and has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace, Folke Bernadotte Academy and the Peace Research Institute Oslo, among others. In 2011, Cohen was awarded the American Political Science Association's Award for Best Dissertation in Women and Politics, and in 2014, Cohen received the Heinz I. Eulau Award for the best article published in the American Political Science Review in the previous year.

Cohen received her PhD in political science from Stanford University and an AB in political science and philosophy from Brown University. Cohen served as a paralegal in the Outstanding Scholars Program in the Counterterrorism Section of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2001-2003.

Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy