Individual Submission Summary

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Legacies of Rebel Governance and NGO Leader Behavior in Post-Conflict Settings

Sun, September 1, 10:00 to 11:30am, Hilton, Embassy


How does living under rebel control during civil war affect local non-governmental organization (NGO) leaders’ attitudes and behaviors regarding the distribution of resources to citizens? I develop a theory in which the takeover of territory and the establishment of institutions by rebels during civil war evokes disruptions in governance for leaders of local organizations. This disruption creates uncertainty and fear which subsequently affects the long-term behaviors and attitudes of local NGO leaders. I test this theory in former rebel and government-controlled regions of Cote d’Ivoire, using surveys, dictator games, participant observation, and interviews. I find that NGO leaders who lived under rebel control are less altruistic and more discriminating against the out-group than their counterparts working in former-government-controlled areas in Cote d’Ivoire. These findings have ramifications for the impact of civil war on key decision-makers, NGO leaders, and their ability to contribute to development, democracy, and peace in post-conflict settings.