WORKING PAPERS Parochial Altruism in Civil Society Leaders: Legacies of Contested Governance (R&R at Journal of Politics) Working Paper [Appendix]
Recipient of the Ralph Bunche Best Graduate Student Paper - 2018, from the African Politics Conference Group, an organized section of the American Political Science Association. Pre-Analysis Plan.
International donors funnel significant aid to local civil society organizations (CSOs) to facilitate post-conflict democratization, but research fails to consider how war shapes the attitudes and behaviors of organization leadership. I theorize how wartime uncertainty generated by contested governance produces parochial altruism among CSO leaders. Parochial altruism emerges because wartime uncertainty leads civil society leaders to keep resources for themselves. Discrimination emerges because rebel takeover exacerbates existing cleavages, inducing civil society leaders to discriminate against outgroups. To test this theory, I leverage geographic variation in rebel control within Côte d’Ivoire through lab-in-the-field games. I find that CSO leaders who lived under contested governance are less altruistic and more discriminatory than their counterparts under continuous government control. I provide suggestive evidence of the mechanism drawn from interviews and survey data. These findings complicate our expectations for post-conflict democratization by providing greater understanding of the impact of relying on war-traumatized CSO leaders.
Fear Factor: Mitigating the Unintended Consequences of Civic Education in Violent Contexts,with Leonardo Arriola, Aila Matanock, Manuela Travaglianti Pre-Analysis Plan Experiment 1 & Pre-Analysis Plan Experiment 2. Civic education programs in democratizing countries are intended to positively affect citizens’ attitudes and behaviors toward electoral competition. But the impact of such programs are not well understood in violence-affected countries. We claim that civic education programs in violent contexts can prime fear by inducing citizens to become more aware of prevailing political conditions, resulting in perceptions of unsafe voting conditions and increased support for political violence. We assess these claims in Côte d’Ivoire, where elections are regularly marred by violence. A field experiment shows that exposure to civic education induces voters to express greater fear of, and support for, political violence. A survey experiment refines these findings by showing that peace and rights-based messaging decreases support for political violence, particularly when delivered by the national electoral commission rather than local or international organizations. Our findings suggest the importance of carefully crafting civic education approaches to mitigate unintended negative consequences. Trauma Exposure vs. Trauma Response: A Review of the Impact of Violence on Post-Conflict Outcomes, with Biz Herman
This paper presents a systematic review of the literature on trauma and its consequences in post-conflict and forced migration settings. Studies vary in whether they examine trauma exposure—the experience of living through an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury—or trauma response—the range of psychophysiological responses that emerge after trauma exposure. In this systematic review, we examine how different conceptualizations of trauma exposure and trauma response in conflict- and forced migration-affected populations produce consistent or disparate results across 164 papers. We examine variations in case selection, measurements used, identification strategy, and outcomes observed. This review comprehensively looks at the state of the emerging literature on the micro-level causes and consequences of violence, and offers paths forward in the conceptualization and measurement of trauma in studies seeking to better understand sociopolitical outcomes in trauma-affected populations.
Get Out the Vote with Violence: Online Mobilization in Violent Elections, with Irene Morse How do partisans use and respond to narratives of violence in contexts of violent elections? We develop a theory to explain when and why party supporters respond to violence narratives intended to galvanize their copartisans in electoral periods. We test this theory using computational text analysis on over 1.2 million posts from 175 public groups supporting major candidates and parties on Facebook in Côte d’Ivoire from 2019-2020. We examine whether narratives of past or current violence are more effective at incurring partisan support through reactions (e.g. likes, shares, comments) on social media. We show how leveraging social media data can provide real-time insight into the processes underpinning partisan use of violence information in elections.
Election Violence and Political Participation in Nigeria, with Megan Turnbull
How does election violence shape political behavior? Recent work has examined the drivers of election violence, but less is known about its consequences. In this pre-analysis plan, we present a survey experiment to examine how different aspects of election violence, such as the identities of the perpetrators, victims, and accusers, impact voting behavior and other modes of political participation in Nigeria. We plan to evaluate a series of empirically grounded hypotheses derived from the coded transcripts of eight virtual focus groups with Nigerian citizens conducted during summer 2022. The focus groups were conducted in five states with varying histories of election violence and explored participants’ views on different forms of election violence, whether and how election violence motivated them to get involved in politics, and how they acquired and evaluated information about election violence. The findings contribute to a growing literature on the relationship between election violence and political participation. Summary of focus group findings here.