UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Violence, Empathy and Altruism: Evidence from the Ivorian Refugee Crisis in Liberia

Hartman, AC; Morse, BJ; (2020) Violence, Empathy and Altruism: Evidence from the Ivorian Refugee Crisis in Liberia. British Journal of Political Science , 50 (2) pp. 731-755. 10.1017/S0007123417000655. Green open access

[thumbnail of Hartman_Manuscript_revision.pdf]
Preview
Text
Hartman_Manuscript_revision.pdf - Accepted version

Download (525kB) | Preview

Abstract

In regions plagued by reoccurring periods of war, violence and displacement, how does past exposure to violence affect altruism toward members of different ethnic or religious groups? Drawing on theories of empathy-driven altruism in psychology, this article proposes that violence can increase individuals’ capacity to empathize with others, and that empathy born of violence can in turn motivate helping behavior across group boundaries. This hypothesis is tested using data on the hosting behavior of roughly 1,500 Liberians during the 2010–11 Ivorian refugee crisis in eastern Liberia, a region with a long history of cross-border, inter-ethnic violence. Consistent with its theoretical predictions, the study finds that those who experienced violence during the Liberian civil war host greater numbers of refugees, exhibit stronger preferences for distressed refugees and less bias against outgroup refugees, and host a higher proportion of non-coethnic, non-coreligious and distressed refugees. These findings suggest that violence does not necessarily lead to greater antagonism toward outgroups, as is often assumed, and that in some circumstances it can actually promote inter-group co-operation.

Type: Article
Title: Violence, Empathy and Altruism: Evidence from the Ivorian Refugee Crisis in Liberia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0007123417000655
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123417000655
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059736
Downloads since deposit
669Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item