Title

How Personal Is the Political? Democratic Revolution and Fertility Decline

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title

Journal of Family History

Publication Date

2009

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Volume

34

Issue

4

First Page

407

Last Page

425

Abstract

Existing theory has identified the capacity of political revolutions to effect change in a variety of social institutions, although relationships between revolution and many institutions remain unexplored. Using historical data from twenty-two European and four diaspora countries, the author examines the temporal relationship between timing of revolution and onset of fertility decline. The author hypothesizes that specific kinds of revolutionary events affect fertility by engendering ideological changes in popular understandings of the individual’s relationship to society and ultimately the legitimacy of couples’ authority over their reproductive capacities. Results demonstrate that popular democratic revolutions—but not institutionalized democratic structures—predict the timing of the onset of fertility decline.

DOI

10.1177/0363199009344692

Comments

Originally published by SAGE Publications. Publisher's PDF available through remote link. Amy Bailey was affiliated with Princeton University at time of publication.

Note: This article is the winner of the American Sociological Association, Comparative Historical Section’s Reinhard Bendix Graduate Student Paper, and the University of Washington Department of Sociology’s Distinguished Graduate Student Paper Awards.