Skip to main content Accessibility help

Risk Aversion, Gender, and Constitutional Change

  • Tània Verge (a1), Marc Guinjoan (a2) and Toni Rodon (a3)

Independence movements are today present in several stateless territorially concentrated nations, irrespective of their level of self-government. Among advanced industrial democracies, the stronger secessionist movements are found in Belgium, Canada, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom (Keating 1996; Sorens 2005). In the absence of a secession clause in their respective constitutions, a broad array of political parties and civil society groups have mobilized to demand a self-determination referendum as a means to let the citizenry of their territories express their will (Muñoz and Guinjoan 2013). Canada held a referendum on the secession of Quebec in 1980 and 1995. The United Kingdom called a popular vote on Scotland's independence in September 2014. In the Spanish case, Catalonia convoked a consultation in November 2014, although the central government did not recognize its legality.

Hide All
Ansolabehere, Stephen, and Iyengar, Shanto. 1995. Going Negative: How Political Advertisements Shrink and Polarize the Electorate. New York: The Free Press.
Arch, Elisabeth C. 1993. “Risk-Taking: A Motivational Basis for Sex Differences.” Psychological Reports 73 (1): 611.
Behrens, Timothy E. J., Woolrich, Mark W., Walton, Mark E., and Rushworth, Matthew F. S.. 2007. “Learning the Value of Information in an Uncertain World.” Nature Neuroscience 10 (9): 1214–221.
Bell, Christine, and Mackay, Fiona. 2013. “Women and Constitutional Debates: Engendering Visions of a New Scotland.” In After Independence, ed. Gerry Hassan and James Mitchell. Edinburgh: Luath Press Ltd., 259–71
Berinsky, Adam J. 2006. “American Public Opinion Data in the 1930s and 1940s. The Analysis of Quota-Controlled Sample Survey Data.” Public Opinion Quarterly 70 (4): 499529.
Booth, Alison L., and Nolen, Patrick J.. 2012. “Salience, Risky Choices and Gender.” Economics Letters 117 (2): 517–20.
Booth, Alison L., Cardona-Sosa, Lina, and Nolen, Patrick. 2014. “Gender Differences in Risk Aversion: Do Single-Sex Environments Affect Their Development?Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 99: 126–54.
Byrnes, James P., Miller, David C., and Schafer, William D.. 1999. “Gender Differences in Risk Taking: A Meta-Analysis.” Psychological Bulletin 125 (3): 367–83.
Colino, César. 2009. “Constitutional Change without Constitutional Reform: Spanish Federalism and the Revision of Catalonia's Statute of Autonomy.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 39 (2): 262–88.
Croson, Rachel, and Gneezy, Uri. 2009. “Gender Differences in Preferences.” Journal of Economic Literature 47 (2): 448–74.
Cutter, Susan L., Tiefenbacher, John, and Solecki, William D.. 1992. “En-gendered Fears: Femininity and Technological Risk Perception.” Industrial Crisis Quarterly 6 (1): 522.
Dawson, Jeremy F., and Richter, Andras W.. 2006. “Probing Three-Way Interactions in Moderated Multiple Regression: Development and Application of a Slope Difference Test.” Journal of Applied Sociology 91 (4): 917–26.
Dion, Stéphan. 2010. “The Reemergence of Secessionism: Lessons from Quebec.” In Nationalism and Rationalism, ed. Albert Breton, Gianluigi Galeotti, Pierre Salmon, and Ronald Wintrobe. New York: Cambridge University Press, 116–42.
Dohmen, Thomas, Falk, Armin, Huffman, David, Sande, Uwe, Schupp, Jürgen, and Wagner, Gert G.. 2011. “Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioural Consequences.” Journal of the European Economic Association 9 (3): 522–50.
Eckel, Catherine C., and Grossman, Philip J.. 2008. “Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence.” In The Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, ed. Plott, Charles R. and Smith, Vernon L., 509–19. New York: Elsevier.
Fagley, Nancy S., and Miller, Paul M.. 1990. “The Effect of Framing on Choice Interactions with Risk-Taking Propensity, Cognitive Style, and Sex.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 16 (3): 496510.
Finucane, Melissa L., Alhakami, Ali, Slovic, Paul, and Johnson, Stephen M.. 2000. “The Affect Heuristic in Judgments of Risks and Benefits.” Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 13 (1): 117.
Fujita, Frank, Diener, Ed, and Sandvik, Ed. 1991. “Gender Differences in Negative Affect and Well-Being: The Case for Emotional Intensity.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 61 (3): 427–34.
Grabe, Maria E., and Kamhawi, Rasha. 2006. Hard Wired for Negative News? Gender Differences in Processing Broadcast News. Communication Research 33 (5): 346–69.
Guinjoan, Marc, and Rodon, Toni. 2014. “Beyond Identities: Political Determinants of Support for Decentralisation in Contemporary Spain.” Regional and Federal Studies 24 (1): 2141.
Gustafsod, Per E. 1998. “Gender Differences in Risk Perception: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives.” Risk Analysis 18 (6): 805–11.
Hobolt, Sara B. 2006. “How Parties Affect Vote Choice in European Integration Referendums.” Party Politics 12 (5): 623–47.
Imai, Kosuke, Keele, Luke, Tingley, Dustin, and Yamamoto, Teppei. 2011. “Unpacking the Black Box of Causality: Learning about Causal Mechanisms from Experimental and Observational Studies.” American Political Science Review 105 (4): 765–89.
Jianakoplos, Nancy A., and Bernasek, Alexandra. 1998. “Are Women More Risk Averse?Economic Inquiry 36 (4): 620–30.
Johns, Robert, Bennie, Lynn, and Mitchell, James. 2012. “Gendered Nationalism: The Gender Gap in Support for the Scottish National Party.” Party Politics 18 (4): 581601.
Keating, Michael. 1996. Nations against the State. The New Politics of Nationalism in Quebec, Catalonia and Scotland. London: Macmillan.
Kenny, Meryl. 2014. “Engendering the Independence Debates.” Scottish Affairs 23 (3): 323–31.
Kopasker, Daniel. 2014. “The Role of Threat and Economic Uncertainty in Support for Scottish Independence.” Scottish Affairs 23 (1): 103–24.
Mandrik, Carter A., and Bao, Yeqing. 2005. “Exploring the Concept and Measurement of General Risk Aversion.” Advances in Consumer Research 32: 531–39.
Muñoz, Jordi, and Guinjoan, Marc. 2013. “Accounting for Internal Variation in Nationalist Mobilization: Unofficial Referendums for Independence in Catalonia (2009–11).” Nations and Nationalism 19 (1): 4467.
Muñoz, Jordi, and Tormos, Raül. 2015. “Economic Expectations and Support for Secession in Catalonia: Between Causality and Rationalization.” European Political Science Review 7 (2): 315–41.
Muro, Diego. 2009. “Territorial Accommodation, Party Politics, and Statute Reform in Spain.” South European Society & Politics 14 (4): 453–68.
Nadeau, Richard, Martin, Pierre, and Blais, André. 1999. “Attitudes towards Risk-taking and Individual Choice in the Quebec Referendum on Sovereignty.” British Journal of Political Science 29 (3): 523–39.
Niederle, Muriel, and Vesterlung, Lise. 2007. “Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?Quarterly Journal of Economics 122 (3): 1067–101.
Ormston, Rachel. 2013. Why Don't More Women Support Independence? Findings from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey. Edinburgh: ScotCen Social Research.,.uk/media/270731/ssa-2012-gender-and-independence.pdf (accessed June 17, 2014).
Saalfeld, Thomas. 2006. “Deliberate Delegation or Abdication? Government Backbenchers, Ministers and European Union Legislation.” In The Europeanisation of Parliamentary Democracy, ed. Auel, Katrin and Benz., Arthur New York: Routledge, 4069.
Schubert, Renate. 2006. “Analyzing and Managing Risks—On the Importance of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes.” Managerial Finance 32 (9): 706–15.
Serrano, Ivan. 2013. “Just a Matter of Identity? Support for Independence in Catalonia.” Regional & Federal Studies 23 (5): 523–45.
Slovic, Paul. 1999. “Trust, Emotion, Sex, Politics, and Science: Surveying the Risk-Assessment Battlefield.” Risk Analysis 19 (4): 689701.
Sorens, Jason. 2005. “The Cross-Sectional Determinants of Secessionism in Advanced Democracies.” Comparative Political Studies 38 (3): 304–26.
Soroka, Stuart N. 2014. Negativity in Democratic Politics. Causes and Consequences. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Van Schie, Els C. M., and Van Der Pligt, Joop. 1995. “Influencing Risk Preference in Decision Making: The Effects of Framing and Salience.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 63 (3): 264–75.
Verge, Tània. 2013. “Party Strategies on Territorial Reform: Statewide Parties and the State of Autonomies in Spain.” West European Politics 36 (2): 333–53.
Wenzel, James P., Bowler, Shaun, and Lanoue, David J.. 2000. “Citizen Opinion and Constitutional Choices: The Case of the UK.” Political Behavior 22 (3): 241–65.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Politics & Gender
  • ISSN: 1743-923X
  • EISSN: 1743-9248
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-gender
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed