Journal article written by 2009 DPDF State Violence Fellow Andrew M. Linke and John O’Loughlin, featured in the International Studies Review, Volume 17, No. 1:
How does political violence affect the attitudes and beliefs of affected populations? This question remains of central concern to the discipline of conflict studies. In response, we make the case (by empirical example) that the choice of spatial and temporal ranges of analysis influences conclusions about the associations between exposure to political conflict and subsequent opinions. Using 2005 survey data from Russia’s North Caucasus and georeferenced conflict data for the preceding 2 years, we find that violence affects levels of ethnic pride, trust in public institutions, and preferences for ethno-territorial separation, as well as other postwar attitudes. By designating a wide range of distance and time boundaries for capturing a conflict/attitude relationship, we argue for a more inductive style of analyzing theoretical propositions than is usually found in the field of conflict research. Our research is framed within the theoretical and empirical discussions of contextual-, neighborhood-, and community-level drivers of individual-level outcomes from the political geography and conflict studies literatures.