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Sabine Carey (University of Mannheim)

9 November 2023 @ 14:00 - 15:15



9 November 2023
14:00 - 15:15
Event Category:
Academic Events

The long shadow of the past? Conflict legacy and perceived police effectiveness in Northern Ireland

Abstract. One of the most important tasks for societies emerging from civil war is to (re-)build trust in the security sector. In many volatile countries, improving the demographic representation of the forces can be helpful. And over time, conflict cleavages should become less important for evaluating the police force. Using novel survey experiments in Northern Ireland, we investigate whether the shadow of the violent conflict that ended 25 years earlier continues to influence perceptions of the police. We capture the salience of previous conflict cleavages with two dimensions: shared sectarian identity and cultural contexts that invoke sectarian associations. Our results suggest that shared sectarian background and politically charged contexts of policing have only a minor impact on perceptions of the police but continue to have some impact on communities that were victims of police violence during the conflict. Individual characteristics of vulnerability in the form of gender and income more consistently shape assessments of the police.