Civil War and the Transformation of Values

Led by Karin Dyrstad

Apr 2008 – May 2012

Little is known about how individual attitudes are affected by civil war. Yet, the conflict literature is full of assumptions, both explicit and implicit, about how people react to warfare. Using survey data from the Western Balkans, I examine the effect of civil war exposure on individual attitudes of ethno-nationalism, reconciliation and authoritarianism. A main finding is that warfare has no uniform effect on public opinion, but that post-conflict countries are dominated by values that are commonly assumed to be detrimental to the development of peaceful democracies. The findings make clear that assumptions about individual attitudes and behaviour after a violent conflict must be made with caution.

PhD project at PRIO and the University of Trondheim (NTNU).

Supervisors: Ola Listhaug and Halvard Buhaug.

The thesis was successfully defended in May 2012.

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