Publications

Trial by Fire: a Natural Disaster’s Impact on Support for the Authorities in Rural Russia,” World Politics, 2014, volume 66, issue 04, pp. 641-668 (with Anton Sobolev, Irina Soboleva and Boris Sokolov).

Abstract: We explore the microfoundations of political support under a nondemocratic regime by investigating the impact of a natural disaster on attitudes toward the government. The research exploits the enormous wildfires that occurred in rural Russia during the summer of 2010 as a natural experiment. We test the effects of fires with a survey of almost eight hundred respondents in seventy randomly selected villages. The study finds that in the burned villages there is higher support for the government at all levels. Most counterintuitively, the rise of support for authorities cannot be fully explained by the generous governmental aid. We interpret the results by the demonstration effect of the government’s performance.

Brother or Burden? An Experiment on Reducing Prejudice Toward Syrian Refugees in Turkey ,” Political Science Research and Methods, 2017, volume 5, issue 2, pp. 201-219  (with Kunaal Sharma).

Abstract: Can the emphasis on shared religion reduce out-group prejudice? To explore this question, we conducted a survey experiment on the effect of religious primes on Turkish citizens’ attitudes and behavior toward Syrian refugees in Istanbul and Gaziantep. We used a factorial design to compare the independent and interactive effects of primes emphasizing refugees’ Sunni or Muslim identity and a factual statement on the economic cost of the refugees. We find that religious primes increase respondents’ level of donations to a charity supporting Syrian refugees and certain attitudinal measures of support for the refugees. We also uncovered a differential impact among the Sunni and Muslim primes and found that the statement of economic cost removed the pro-refugee effect of religious primes.

The Economic Consequences of Political Alienation: Ethnic Minority Status and Investment Behavior in a Post-Conflict Society (with Vera Mironova).” World Development, Volume 106, June 2018, Pages 27-39

Abstract: How does minority status influence individual investment and savings decisions in a post-conflict society? We argue that minority status is associated with lower trust in third-party institutions controlled by an ethnic out-group, and, as a result, leads to a preference for certain earnings over potentially risky investments. We test this hypothesis with multiple sources of evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina. First, we experimentally elicit investment behavior among members of the same ethnic group on two sides of the boundary that makes some individuals majorities and others minorities. Second, we induce minority status in the lab. Analyses across the studies show that both natural and induced minority statuses lead to lower levels of investment. We provide ecological validity to the experimental results with the analysis of a large, representative household survey and an original survey of businessmen. The results have large implications for understanding of inter-ethnic relations and the sense of security in development.

 

Laws in Conflict: Legacies of War, Gender, and Legal Pluralism in Chechnya.” World Politics, volume 71 no 4 (October 2019). 667-709.

Abstract: How do legacies of conflict affect choices between state and nonstate legal institutions? this article studies this question in Chechnya, where state law coexists with sharia and customary law. the author focuses on the effect of conflict-induced disruption of gender hierarchies because the dominant interpretations of religious and customary norms are discriminatory against women. the author finds that women in Chechnya are more likely than men to rely on state law and that this gender gap in legal preferences and behavior is especially large in more-victimized communities. the author infers from this finding that the conflict created the conditions for women in Chechnya to pursue their interests through state law—albeit not without resistance. women’s legal mobilization has generated a backlash from the Chechen government, which has attempted to reinstate a patriarchal order. the author concludes that conflict may induce legal mobilization among the weak and that gender may become a central cleavage during state-building processes in postconflict environments.