Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population / Edition 1

Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population / Edition 1

ISBN-10:
0262582643
ISBN-13:
9780262582643
Pub. Date:
09/23/2005
Publisher:
MIT Press

Paperback

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Overview

Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population / Edition 1

What happens to a society that has too many men? In this provocative book, Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer argue that, historically, high male-to-female ratios often trigger domestic and international violence. Most violent crime is committed by young unmarried males who lack stable social bonds. Although there is not always a direct cause-and-effect relationship, these surplus men often play a crucial role in making violence prevalent within society. Governments sometimes respond to this problem by enlisting young surplus males in military campaigns and high-risk public works projects. Countries with high male-to-female ratios also tend to develop authoritarian political systems.

Hudson and den Boer suggest that the sex ratios of many Asian countries, particularly China and India—which represent almost 40 percent of the world's population—are being skewed in favor of males on a scale that may be unprecedented in human history. Through offspring sex selection (often in the form of sex-selective abortion and female infanticide), these countries are acquiring a disproportionate number of low-status young adult males, called "bare branches" by the Chinese.

Hudson and den Boer argue that this surplus male population in Asia's largest countries threatens domestic stability and international security. The prospects for peace and democracy are dimmed by the growth of bare branches in China and India, and, they maintain, the sex ratios of these countries will have global implications in the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262582643
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 09/23/2005
Series: Belfer Center Studies in International Security
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Valerie M. Hudson is Professor of Political Science and faculty affiliate at the David M. Kennedy School for International and Area Studies at Brigham Young University. She is the author of the books Culture and Foreign Policy and Artificial Intelligence and International Politics and coeditor of The Limits of State Autonomy: Societal Groups and Foreign Policy Formulation and Political Psychology and Foreign Policy.

Andrea M. den Boer is a Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

Steven E. Miller is director of the International Security Program at the Belfer Center.

Sean M. Lynn-Jones is Editor of International Security, the International Security Program's quarterly journal. He is also series editor of the Belfer Center Studies in International Security, the Program's book series that is published by MIT Press.

What People are Saying About This

Jessica Stern

Bare Branches reveals a largely overlooked but important variable correlated with war and peace: high ratios of males to females. Through both historical and contemporary analyses, Hudson and den Boer show that in societies where women have low status, peaceful democracies are far less likely to take hold. All those who hope to understand the causes of war—in academe as well as in government—will have to be aware of these findings. A brilliant contribution to the literature on contemporary world affairs.

Rose McDermott

Bare Branches is a tour de force. It represents a groundbreaking contribution to the literature on gender and security studies. Hudson and den Boer call attention to the ticking time bomb of sex ratio imbalances, especially in East and South Asia, and its impact on the likelihood of domestic instability and inter-state war. All who address these issues in the future will need to contend seriously with the persuasive arguments made in this book.

Francis Fukuyama

Bare Branches is an excellent book that represents a new approach to thinking about political stability and international politics. Hudson and den Boer draw from the life sciences to reveal historical patterns that other scholars have missed. They present comprehensive data on sex ratios and fascinating historical studies of social instability brought on by excess young males.

Endorsement

Bare Branches reveals a largely overlooked but important variable correlated with war and peace: high ratios of males to females. Through both historical and contemporary analyses, Hudson and den Boer show that in societies where women have low status, peaceful democracies are far less likely to take hold. All those who hope to understand the causes of war—in academe as well as in government—will have to be aware of these findings. A brilliant contribution to the literature on contemporary world affairs.

Jessica Stern, Lecturer in Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

From the Publisher

" Bare Branches is a tour de force. It represents a groundbreaking contribution to the literature on gender and security studies. Hudson and den Boer call attention to the ticking time bomb of sex ratio imbalances,especially in East and South Asia, and its impact on the likelihood of domestic instability and inter-state war. All who address these issues in the future will need to contend seriously with the persuasive arguments made in this book." Rose McDermott, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara

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