Televising Justice During War
13 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 23, 2018
Television is an overlooked tool of state building. We estimate the impact of televising criminal proceedings on public use of government courts to resolve disputes. We draw on survey data from Afghanistan, where the government used television as a mechanism for enhancing the legitimacy of formal legal institutions during an ongoing conflict. We find consistent evidence of court ‘uptake’ among survey respondents who trust television following the nation’s first televised criminal trial. We find no evidence that public confidence in other government functions (e.g. economy, development, corruption) improved during this period . Our findings suggest that television may provide a means of building state legitimacy during war.
Keywords: civil war, justice systems, competitive governance
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