Displaced Loyalties: The Effects of Indiscriminate Violence on Attitudes Among Syrian Refugees in Turkey

35 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017 Last revised: 9 Dec 2017

See all articles by Kristin Fabbe

Kristin Fabbe

Harvard Business School

Chad Hazlett


Tolga Sinmazdemir

Bogazici University; Washington University in St. Louis

Date Written: December 8, 2017


How does violence during conflict affect the political attitudes of civilians who leave the conflict zone? Using a survey of 1,384 Syrian refugees in Turkey, we employ a natural experiment owing to the inaccuracy of barrel bombs to examine the effect of having one's home destroyed on political and community loyalties. We find that refugees who lose a home to barrel bombing, while more likely to feel threatened by the Assad regime, are less supportive of the opposition, and instead more likely to say no armed group in the conflict represents them – opposite to what is expected when civilians are captive in the conflict zone and must choose sides for their protection. Respondents also show heightened volunteership towards fellow refugees. Altogether, this suggests that when civilians flee the conflict zone, they withdraw support from all armed groups rather than choosing sides, instead showing solidarity with their civilian community.

Suggested Citation

Fabbe, Kristin and Hazlett, Chad and Sinmazdemir, Tolga, Displaced Loyalties: The Effects of Indiscriminate Violence on Attitudes Among Syrian Refugees in Turkey (December 8, 2017). Harvard Business School BGIE Unit Working Paper No. 18-024, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3039099 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3039099

Kristin Fabbe (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Chad Hazlett

UCLA ( email )

405 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1472
United States

Tolga Sinmazdemir

Bogazici University ( email )

34342 Bebek - Istanbul

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

Seigle 259, Campus Box 1063
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States
314-9353534 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://files.nyu.edu/nts215/public/Site/Home.html

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