McDoom, Omar (2011) Who kills?: social influence, spatial opportunity, and participation in inter-group violence. PSPE working papers, 4 / 2011. The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
In episodes of collective violence between groups, which group members participate and which do not? Extant scholarship on individual participation in inter-group violence emphasizes dispositional susceptibilities: young, male, alienated, deprived, ethnocentric. This paper, however, finds that micro-situational opportunities also mediate selection into violence. In particular it highlights spatial factors. Using data on 2557 residents from one community in Rwanda, I map the household locations of participants, non-participants, and victims of Rwanda’s genocide. I test two hypotheses. First, whether ‘accessibility’ – the ease with which an individual could access the site of violence – shaped participation. Second, whether ‘social influence’ – the ability to induce an individual to join in – mattered. I find support for the influence mechanism. Specifically, participants are more likely than non-participants to live both in the same household as and within close proximity of other perpetrators. These household and neighbourhood effects point to the existence of micro-spheres of influence.
|Item Type:||Monograph (Working Paper)|
|Additional Information:||© 2011 The Author|
|Library of Congress subject classification:||H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology|
|Sets:||Departments > Government|
|Identification Number:||4 / 2011|
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