The Social and Political Legacy of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: Evidence from List Experiments in Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sri Lanka

26 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021

See all articles by Carlo Koos

Carlo Koos

Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI); University of Konstanz - Deptment of Politics and Public Administration; Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI)

Richard Traunmüller

University of Mannheim - School of Social Sciences

Date Written: March 3, 2021

Abstract

Conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is widespread across the world's conflict zones and understood to leave a particularly disastrous legacy for victims, communities and nations. However, representative data and systematic studies are scarce. We present original survey evidence from three postconflict countries known for its prevalence of CRSV: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia and Sri Lanka. The main contribution is twofold. First, we present the value of using list experiments compared to direct questions in measuring CRSV. Second, we estimate the effect of CRSV on social and political outcomes: civic participation, interethnic relations and political trust. Across all three country cases we find that CRSV leads to more civic participation at the local level. The effects on interethnic relations and political trust vary across countries. Essentially, our findings challenge the dominant `weapon of war' narrative suggesting that CRSV destroys the social fabric of communities. The evidence supports are more optimistic outlook emphasizing that survivors, their families and communities exercise social resilience.

Keywords: Conflict-related sexual violence, list experiment, democracy, postconflict

Suggested Citation

Koos, Carlo and Traunmüller, Richard, The Social and Political Legacy of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: Evidence from List Experiments in Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sri Lanka (March 3, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3796815 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3796815

Carlo Koos (Contact Author)

Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) ( email )

P.O.Box 6033 Bedriftssenteret
N-5892 Bergen, 5006
Norway

University of Konstanz - Deptment of Politics and Public Administration ( email )

P.O. Box D-85
Konstanz, D-78457
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.carlokoos.com

Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) ( email )

P.O.Box 6033 Bedriftssenteret
N-5892 Bergen, 5006
Norway

Richard Traunmüller

University of Mannheim - School of Social Sciences ( email )

Germany

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