Household Formation Systems and Marriage Markets

PI: Valerie Hudson, Texas A&M

Year selected for award: 2014

Household Formation Systems, Marriage Markets and Society Stability/Resilience

Principal Investigator: Valarie Hundson, Texas A&M University

Co-Investigator: Rebecca Nielsen, Yale University

Years of Award: 2014-2018

Managing Service Agency: Army Research Office

Project Description:
Our research project is investigating the linkage between household formation strategies and marriage markets, on the one hand, and national stability and resilience on the other. Our project has two major components: a large-N statistical analysis using the latest data and information, as well as an in-depth case study of West Africa. During the first year, we collected 5,408 new pieces of data added to our existing database, and updated four scales: son preference and sex ratios, practice of child marriage for girls, laws concerning child marriage for girls, and differences between practice and law of child marriage. Each of these scales was also mapped, and those maps are now online. In the second year of the project, we collected 7,681 new pieces of data which were added to the database, and updated eight scales: Legal Restrictions on Abortion, Trafficking of Women, Government Participation by Women, Prevalence and Legality of Cousin Marriage, Prevalence of Patrilocal Marriage, Prevalence and Legal Status of Polygyny, Bride price/Dowry/Wedding Costs (Type and Prevalence), and the Clan Governance Index,  all of which were mapped. During the second year, our co-PI Rebecca Nielsen also spent 6 weeks in West Africa, collecting data for a case study of the effects of polygyny on young male grievance levels. Also during the second year, we developed our theoretical chapters for the final book project. We have also engaged in extensive outreach efforts to make stakeholders aware of our data resources. We have also mentored research projects developed by our student assistants, several of whom have graduated and gone on for graduate work. During the third year of the project, we will be completed all data analysis and started production on a full-length book manuscript. During the fourth and final year of the project, we successfully finished production on the book manuscript.

Select Publications:
Hudson, Valerie M, Donna Lee Bowen, and Perpetua Lynne Nielsen. 2020. The First Political Order. Columbia University Press.
Hudson, Valerie M., “Preventing Conflict by Promoting Gender Equality,” World Bank Learning Event, Washington, DC, 1 March 2018
Hudson, Valerie M., “The Case for Women in Peace and Security,” Principals’ Meeting of the “US Leadership to Advance Women, Peace, and Security” meeting, sponsored by the McCain Institute for International Leadership and Futures Without Violence, 28 February 2018.
Invited Congressional Testimony, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, on the subject of Women’s role in Countering Terrorism, Washington, DC, 27 February 2018, and

Hudson, Valerie M., “The Evolution of the First Political Order,” on the panel “Evolution, Sex, and War,” sponsored by the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs, College Station, Texas, 15 February 2018.
Hudson Valerie M. “The Exclusion of Women from National Security Policy Making,” panel on “Women and War” sponsored by Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, 25 January 2018.
Hudson, Valerie M., “Theorizing Gender and Politics,” at the “Masculinities and Politics,” roundtable sponsored by Promundo and the National Democratic Institute, 25 January 2018
Hudson, Valerie M., “The First Political Order and Its Effects on National Security,” Strategic Multilayer Assessment Community, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, 21 December 2017 (virtual conference)
Hudson Valerie M., “The First Political Order: Sex, Governance, and National Security,” The Baha’i Chair for World Peace Annual Lecture, University of Maryland, College Park, 21 September 2017.
Hudson, Valerie M., “Women and National Security,” virtual lecture in Professional Course “Women and National Security: The Essentials,” National Security College, Australian National University, 19 September 2017