The Effect of Perspective-Giving on Post-Conflict Reconciliation. An Experimental Approach

Forthcoming in Political Psychology.

46 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2015 Last revised: 13 Nov 2015

See all articles by Juan Ugarriza

Juan Ugarriza

Universidad del Rosario

Enzo Nussio

Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich

Date Written: May 30, 2015

Abstract

Discussion groups are a promising tool for bridging the divide between former conflict antagonists. However, such groups do not always produce the desired outcome of improved attitudes, even when they meet the conditions generally seen as favoring positive interaction. In this article, we examine specific discussion protocols that mitigate polarization risks while fostering reconciliation. Using a randomized, controlled design, we formed a pool of 429 ex-combatants and members of conflict-affected communities in Colombia. Participants were asked to join heterogeneous groups and discuss their proposals for the future of Colombia. Those who were randomly assigned to a perspective-giving treatment protocol (where they were asked to refer to their personal experience and perspective) consistently improved their inter-group attitudes, and by a proportionally higher percentage than those taking part under argumentation and control conditions. The positive effect was strongest for attitudes held by community members toward ex-combatants.

Keywords: Reconciliation, post-conflict, ex-combatants, victims, perspective-giving, attitudes, group discussion, randomized controlled trial, Colombia

JEL Classification: C93, D74, Z00

Suggested Citation

Ugarriza, Juan and Nussio, Enzo, The Effect of Perspective-Giving on Post-Conflict Reconciliation. An Experimental Approach (May 30, 2015). Forthcoming in Political Psychology., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2613944 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2613944

Juan Ugarriza (Contact Author)

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Calle 12 No. 6-25
Bogota, DC
Colombia

Enzo Nussio

Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich ( email )

Haldeneggsteig 4
Zurich, Zurich 8006
Switzerland

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