Violence and political outcomes in Ukraine: Evidence from Sloviansk and Kramatorsk
In this paper, we study the effects of violence on political outcomes using a survey of respondents in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk – two cities that were affected heavily by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. We show that experiencing physical damage goes together with lower turnout, a higher probability of considering elections irrelevant and a lower probability of knowing one’s local representatives. We also find that property damage is associated with greater support for pro-Western parties, lower support for keeping Donbas in Ukraine and lower support for compromise as a way to stop the conflict. Our paper thus shows the importance of investigating the impact of different kinds of victimization, as different degrees of victimization can have different, sometimes even conflicting outcomes. Our paper also suggests that one of the more optimistic conclusions of previous studies, that victimization can increase political participation, does not necessarily carry over to Ukraine, which illustrates the importance of country and context-specific studies.
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