Seminar with Sebastian Schutte, senior researcher at PRIO
Please note the change in venue: Harriet Holters hus, room 301.
Title of presentation: How indiscriminate violence fuels religious conflict: Evidence from Kenya (a paper co-authored with Constantin Ruhe and Andrew Linke)
Political insurrections frequently fuel conflict between groups. The underlying mechanisms remain understudied. We predict that indiscriminate violence by armed actors can deepen cleavages along sectarian lines. Victims and witnesses of indiscriminate attacks blame entire groups associated with perpetrators and become more susceptible to in-group cohesion. Selective violence that yields a lower probability of affecting bystanders does not contribute to prejudice and cohesion.
To test our predictions, we rely on large-scale, reimbursed, electronic panel surveys conducted in Nairobi and Mombasa during the violent Kenyan elections in the Summer of 2017. Relying on the same respondents, we conducted interviews in three waves before, during, and after violence erupted. We find evidence for the predicted effects while accounting for individual and survey wave fixed effects. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first large-scale panel survey that captures individual-level hostilities directly caused by political violence