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How indiscriminate violence fuels religious conflict: Evidence from Kenya

Sebastian Schutte, Constantin Ruhe and Andrew Linke

No kngq2, SocArXiv from Center for Open Science

Abstract: Armed conflicts frequently fuel tensions between groups. The underlying mechanisms remain understudied. The “cognitive perspective” of group identification offers a possible explanation, but is tacit on exact causal pathways. We predict that indiscriminate violence by armed actors induces fear of future attacks which in turn leads to prejudice, enhanced in-group cohesion, and calls for segregation. Selective violence that yields a lower probability of affecting bystanders does not contribute to fear and thereby does not foster prejudice, segregation, 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 2,109 respondents, we conducted interviews before, during, and after violence erupted. We find evidence for the predicted effects among Christians while accounting for individual and survey wave fixed effects and in an additional endorsement experiment.

Date: 2020-03-25
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr and nep-exp
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:osf:socarx:kngq2

DOI: 10.31219/osf.io/kngq2

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