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Erasing Ethnicity? Propaganda, Nation Building and Identity in Rwanda

Arthur Blouin and Sharun Mukand

CAGE Online Working Paper Series from Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE)

Abstract: This paper examines whether propaganda broadcast over radio helped to change interethnic attitudes in post-genocide Rwanda. We exploit variation in exposure to the government’s radio propaganda due to the mountainous topography of Rwanda. Results of lab-in-the-field experiments show that individuals exposed to government propaganda have lower salience of ethnicity, increased inter-ethnic trust and show more willingness to interact face-to-face with members of another ethnic group. Our results suggest that the observed improvement in inter-ethnic behavior is not cosmetic, and reflects a deeper change in interethnic attitudes. The findings provide some of the first quantitative evidence that the salience of ethnic identity can be manipulated by governments.

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Date: 2019
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https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/c ... /443-2019_mukand.pdf

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Journal Article: Erasing Ethnicity? Propaganda, Nation Building, and Identity in Rwanda (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Erasing Ethnicity? Propaganda, Nation Building and Identity in Rwanda (2019) Downloads
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