The IES Research Colloquium: Şule Yaylacı

November 19, 2018

Şule Yaylacı, Postdoctoral Fellow (Sociology, UBC): “Trust in Civil Wars: Wartime Transformations of Social Trust”

Lunch will be served at 12:00 pm
12:15 pm
C.K. Choi, Rm. #351

Abstract – This paper offers a new theory of wartime transformation of social trust and empirical support for it. The premise of the theory is that conflict character (motive of the insurgents and cleavages in civil war) determines the social and political processes that forms trust relations. How these processes altered assessment of others’ good intentions (trustworthiness) is laid out in the theory for both ethnic and ideological civil wars. The main argument is that ethnic territorial wars on average decrease identity-based out-group trust while not resulting in a pervasive decrease in generalized trust (context-dependent), whereas bloody revolutionary wars results in plummeting of generalized trust and context-based decline in identity-based out-group trust. The theory is grounded on original qualitative data I gathered studying the Kurdish insurgency in Turkey as a case of ethnic war (Kurdistan Workers’ Party—the PKK against the Turkish state, 1984-) and the Maoist insurgency in Peru as a case of ideological war (the Shining Path against the Peruvian state, 1980-2000). The data consists of +60 interviews and +16 focus groups from each country conducted in 2013 and 2014, and comparative historical and macro-sociological materials. Quantitative testing using pooled cross-national data supports the argument, controlling for socio-economic and conflict-induced factors. This paper clarifies the contradictory findings in the literature on the impacts of war on trust, and has critical implications for post-war security, governance, reconciliation and peace building.