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Elite Political Cues and Attitude Formation in Post-Conflict Contexts

Author

Listed:
  • Natalia Garbiras-Díaz

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Miguel García-Sánchez

    (Universidad de los Andes)

  • Aila Matanock

    (University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

Citizens are often asked to evaluate peace agreements seeking to end civil conflicts, by voting on referendums or the negotiating leaders or, even when not voting, deciding whether to cooperate with the implementation of policies like combatant reintegration. In this paper, we assess how citizens form attitudes towards the provisions in peace agreements. These contexts tend to have high polarization, and citizens are asked to weigh in on complex policies, so we theorize that citizens will use cues from political elites with whom they have affinity, and, without these cues, information will have less effect. We assess our theory using survey experiments in Colombia. We find citizens rely on political elites’ cues to form their opinion on a peace agreement’s provisions, with the direction depending on the citizen’s affinity with the political elites. Additional information about these policies has little effect. The paper suggests that even these high stakes decisions can be seen as political decisions as usual.

Suggested Citation

  • Natalia Garbiras-Díaz & Miguel García-Sánchez & Aila Matanock, 2020. "Elite Political Cues and Attitude Formation in Post-Conflict Contexts," Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC) Working Papers 19, Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:esocpu:19
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    File URL: https://esoc.princeton.edu/WP19
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    Keywords

    Colombia; Crime; Policing; Politics; Public Opinion; Violence; peace agreements; attitudes; elite cues; FARC;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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