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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54669
Doc. No:TL24623
Call number:‭3361597‬
Main Entry:Steven Dale Shewfelt
Title & Author:Legacies of war: Social and political life after wartime traumaSteven Dale Shewfelt
College:Yale University
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:262
Abstract:When we talk about the legacy of war, we most often do not discuss how the experience of war affects the way non-combatants reconstruct their lives in its wake. Less frequently still do we examine how the experience of war affects the way such people reconstruct their social and political lives once the war has ended. The question that motivates this dissertation is: How does the experience of war affect the kind of social and political life that emerges in its aftermath? More specifically, two questions are at the center of the project: How do the traumatic events that occur during war affect participation in post-conflict social and political life? How do the traumatic events that occur during war affect post-conflict political polarization and social trust? In answer to the first question, I present evidence across a range of measures and contexts that wartime traumatic experiences are broadly connected to increases in post-conflict participation. In post-conflict Aceh and Bosnia, and among Vietnam veterans in the U.S., those who experience more extensive wartime trauma are generally more likely to participate in many types of social and political activities than are those who experience fewer wartime traumatic experiences. I explore several important variations on this theme, including evidence that this finding is contingent not only on the type of trauma experienced, but also on the type of activity at issue. In answer to the second question, I present evidence that wartime traumatic experiences are broadly connected with higher rates of political polarization and lower rates of social trust, especially as that trust relates to the cleavages that are locally salient. The substantive and statistical significance of these findings varies from one context to the next and from one measure to the next, but the patterns are clear and consistent. Taken in combination with the findings regarding participation, the pattern of increased polarization in the wake of wartime trauma is potentially a lethal combination. I conclude the dissertation with a discussion of the implications of the findings and the questions they raise.
Subject:Social sciences; Psychology; Social life; Postwar; War; Political life; Trauma; Social psychology; Political science; 0615:Political science; 0451:Social psychology
Added Entry:S. N. Kalyvas
Added Entry:Yale University