The Reach of Radio: Defection Messaging and Armed Group Behavior
Alex Armand (),
Paul Atwell and
No 01/2017, NCID Working Papers from Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra
We study the role of FM radio messaging in discouraging violent conflict by armed groups. Focusing on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), we collected unique information about defection messaging by radio stations in the four countries (DR Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Uganda) where the LRA has operated. We exploit time and geographical variation, along with the randomness of topography that influences radio coverage, to capture the causal effect of the intensity of messaging on violence, and on the LRA’s strategic behavior. Higher intensity of defection messages leads to a decrease in violence, measured in both number of events and fatalities. We show that this outcome is mainly explained by an increase in defections among LRA members. In areas with higher intensity of messaging, we observe a strategic shift as the LRA tries to compensate these membership losses with increased abductions to recruit new members, and increased looting to reward members.
Keywords: Conflict; LRA; Radio; Defection; Mass Media (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 D89 N47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 43 pages
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Working Paper: The Reach of Radio: Defection Messaging and Armed Group Behavior (2017)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nva:unnvaa:wp01-2017
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