South Asian Studies Brown Bag Series: Violence Exposure and Ethnic Identification in the Kashmir Valley - Gautam Nair

Event time: 
Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Henry R. Luce Hall (LUCE), Room 203 See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

This paper studies the conditions that lead peripheral minorities to identify with the state, their ethnic group, or neighboring countries. We contribute to research on separatism and irredentism by examining how violence, psychological distance, and national status determine identification. The analysis uses novel data from an experiment that randomized videos of actual violence in a large, representative survey of the Kashmir Valley in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, an enduring site of separatist and irredentist conflict. We find that a strong regional identity is a counter-weight to irredentism, but violent repression by the state can push members of the minority to identify with an irredentist neighbor. Violence increases perceived distance from the nation and reduces national identification, particularly among individuals with attributes that otherwise predict higher levels of identification with the state. An increase in national status brought about by economic growth is insufficient to induce national identification when the psychological distance from the nation is large.