Research event

State Violence, Collective Memories, and Post-war Support for the Left in Guatemala.

A presentation by Manuel Vogt. This event is part of the International Security Research Colloquium hosted by the Centre for International Security.

The paper investigates the long-term political consequences of counterinsurgencies. Whereas previous research mostly focused on individual-level impacts of civil violence, it theorizes why indiscriminate counterinsurgent violence increases post-conflict electoral support for the insurgents at the community level. It argues that collectivized memories of state violence align the identities of affected communities with the insurgents’ political cause. These collective identities then shape post-conflict voting behavior – especially in ethnic minority communities, where collective identity is particularly consequential for individual behavior. The paper analyzes the effect of wartime indiscriminate state violence on post-war electoral support for leftist parties in Guatemala at the municipal level. Circumventing endogeneity by using the first post-violence election as a baseline measure of support for the Left, the results indicate a robust positive effect of state violence on the subsequent persistence of this support. The effect increases with the share of indigenous people in a municipality. The paper also provides evidence for the theorized causal mechanism.

Manuel Vogt is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at University College London (UCL) and the author of “Mobilization and Conflict in Multiethnic States”. He received his Ph.D. in political science from ETH Zürich and was a visiting postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University. His research focuses on non-state actors and contentious politics in developing countries, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative methods, including field research in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. His work has appeared in International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and Journal of Conflict Resolution, among others.

This event is part of the International Security Research Colloquium hosted by the Centre for International Security


About the International Security Research Colloquium

The Centre for International Security regularly organizes a research colloquium on topics related to international security and defense. We aim to build a community of scholars, experts and policymakers interested in topics ranging from European and transatlantic security and defense cooperation, conventional and nuclear disarmament and arms control, to civil war, violence against civilians, and terrorism. The colloquium features academic scholars, post-docs and PhD students working at Berlin-based institutions as well as external guests.