Does female bureaucratic support for female political leaders change over time? Existing research focuses on factors that vary across countries. Little work examines how contingent events within a context impact gender-based solidarity. Drawing on collective identity theory, we argue that high-profile incidents of perceived gender-based injustice against a female president could increase female bureaucrats' support for the leader. To explore this, we leverage a unique setting of a female president's impeachment in South Korea to assess the relationship between gender and bureaucrats' support. Examining support for President Park before and after the impeachment, we find that her impeachment has a gendered impact on support, with female bureaucrats' support increasing and male bureaucratic support remaining unchanged. Furthermore, mediation analysis provides suggestive evidence that the result operates through a heightened sense of injustice. Our findings suggest that support for female political leaders varies not only across countries, but also shifts within governments.
- collective identity theory
- perceived gender-based injustice
- South Korea
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Economics and Econometrics
- Political Science and International Relations