When War Adversaries Talk: The Experimental Effect of Engagement Rules on Postconflict Deliberation
Latin American Politics & Society, Forthcoming
41 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2013 Last revised: 18 Feb 2016
Date Written: April 1, 2013
Evidence from mini-public discussion groups including former antagonists in the Colombian armed conflict shows how scepticism and distrust can undermine deliberative behavior in divided societies, but also points to ways in which a more ideal performance might be stimulated. We show that consensus rule is associated with a higher frequency of arguments than majority rule is, that the opportunity to intervene on many occasions during a discussion is associated with a better overall performance, and that deliberation levels do not relate to listeners’ tendency to polarize. A total of 644 ex- combatants participated in our experimental research design, 342 of whom agreed to sit down and talk politics.
Keywords: deliberation, conflict, DDR, political reintegration, ex-combatants, Colombia, postconflict, reconciliation
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