Remnants of War: Civil War Violence and Group Identities

Unnamed Partisan Gravestone


Group identities are often thought to deeply influence social and political attitudes and behaviors. Yet, constructivist theories of identity highlight that most individuals have multiple identities, and that decisions on group identification depend on context. 

   In my book project, I look at how violence during civil war alters individuals' sense of group identification, and how these changes at the individual level aggregate to alter societal cleavages, the political divisions that make up the main axes of political competition.  

  I use both quantitative and qualitative  evidence from conflict in Iraq, Bosnia, and Liberia to show how these processes vary across conflicts and across time. Using sub-national comparisons, I can show common processes across different conflicts. By comparing at the national level, I can show why the political and social legacies differ across conflicts.