The Political Legacy of Violence: The Long-Term Impact of Stalin's Repression in Ukraine

Journal of Politics, 79 (4), 2017

57 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2017 Last revised: 30 Mar 2018

See all articles by Arturas Rozenas

Arturas Rozenas

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Sebastian Schutte

University of Konstanz - Department of Politics and Management

Yuri Zhukov

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science

Date Written: January 31, 2017

Abstract

Political scientists have long been interested in how indiscriminate violence affects the behavior of its victims, yet most research has focused on short term military consequences rather than long-term political effects. We argue that large scale violence can have an intergenerational impact on political preferences. Communities more exposed to indiscriminate violence in the past will – in the future – oppose political forces they associate with the perpetrators of that violence. We document evidence for this claim with archival data on Soviet state violence in western Ukraine, where Stalin’s security services suppressed a nationalist insurgency by deporting over 250,000 people to Siberia. Using two causal identification strategies, we show that communities subjected to a greater intensity of deportation in the 1940’s are now significantly less likely to vote for ‘pro-Russian’ parties. These findings show that indiscriminate violence systematically reduces long-term political support for the perpetrator.

Keywords: indiscriminate violence, elections, civil war, Ukraine, causal inference

Suggested Citation

Rozenas, Arturas and Schutte, Sebastian and Zhukov, Yuri, The Political Legacy of Violence: The Long-Term Impact of Stalin's Repression in Ukraine (January 31, 2017). Journal of Politics, 79 (4), 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2934450 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2934450

Arturas Rozenas (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

19 West 4
New York, NY 10012
United States

Sebastian Schutte

University of Konstanz - Department of Politics and Management ( email )

Universitaetstrasse 10
Konstanz, D-78457
Germany

Yuri Zhukov

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

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