September 21, 2016
News /
Posted by NCID

Patricia Justino, Professor at the University of Sussex, gave a seminar at the Navarra Center for International Development on collective action following the Angolan Civil War


Pamplona, September 12, 2016. Exposure to a new political system during war leads to higher attendance of community meetings, economic reciprocity, in-group bias and social learning following conflict. This is what Patricia Justino, Professor and researcher at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex (UK), presented evidence on at the University of Navarra.

Justino gave a seminar entitled ‘Wartime Origins of Collective Action: Evidence from Angola,’ which shows the results of analysis of data gathered in post-war Angola. The researcher was invited by the Navarra Center for International Development, a project of the Institute for Culture and Society.

According to Justino, not all conflicts lead to state failure. In fact, many armed movements have been able to provide basic services and reduce violence in countries where government is perceived to have failed in its duties of public good provision.


Angola, a practical example


            Justino tested whether “soldiers’ exposure to wartime governance during the Angolan Civil War had effects on post-war participation in local governance and collective action.”  In order to do this, the researcher has used statistical methods to ascertain which mechanisms -such as economic reciprocity, social learning, and political attitudes- could be responsible for higher participation after a conflict has ended.

            Results suggest that exposure to a new political system during war lead to a higher participation in local government and economic reciprocity, in-group bias and social learning. Ultimately, this promotes a better post-war provision of security and other social goods. This has practical implications as understanding dynamics in cases like the Angolan Civil War can help policy makers understand how society, participation, and good provision changes during and after conflict.

The analysis was possible as conflict in Angola did not directly rely on ethnicity or other factors, rather conscription was simply based on age and living in a conflict affected area. Justino and her coauthors have carried out similar analysis as part of a larger project in several other countries, including Colombia and South Africa.