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Inter-Ethnic Dynamics in the Wake of Terrorist Attacks: Evidence from the 2015 Baga Massacre

Alessandro Belmonte ()

Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, 2020, vol. 26, issue 2, 12

Abstract: This paper investigates the consequences for inter-group conflicts of terrorist attacks. I study the 2015 Baga massacre, a large scale attack conducted by Boko Haram at the far North-East state of Borno, Nigeria, as a quasi-natural experiment and examine a set of attitudes in the aftermath of the event of Christians and Muslims throughout the country. Comparing individuals, outside the region of Borno, interviewed by Afrobarometer immediately after the massacre and those interviewed the days before within same regions and holding fixed a number of individual characteristics, I document that the informational exposure to the event rendered Christians less amiable to neighboring Muslims and Muslims less likely to recognize the legitimacy of the state. Nonetheless, Muslims increased their view of the elections as a device to remove leaders in office, event that took place 2 months later with the election of the challenger, Muhammadu Buhari. My findings indicate that terrorist attacks may generate a relevant and heterogeneous backlash across ethnic groups.

Keywords: large-scale terrorist attacks; inter-ethnic tensions; state legitimacy; Boko Haram; Nigeria (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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