Akos Lada - The Clash of Brothers

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Politikatudományi értekezés az eltérő politikai rendszerek szomszédsági viszonyból fakadó háborúk okairó.l

Text of Akos Lada - The Clash of Brothers

  • The Clash of Brothers

    Akos Lada

    Abstract

    How does shared identity affect interstate war-proneness and hostility? This paper

    argues that shared identity in the form of cultural similarity is a source of wars, but only

    in the presence of differences in domestic political institutions. When shared identity is

    based on visible cultural markers, identity ties facilitate the spread of democratization.

    Elites in repressive regimes are threatened by a culturally-similar country where citizens

    are empowered. Thus a dictator uses force against the culturally-similar democracy to

    ensure that his or her citizens see their empowered brothers as an enemy rather than a

    model. Using a new dataset on cultural similarity, coupled with the Correlates of War

    Militarized Interstate Dispute (1816-2008) dataset, I show that the most war-prone and

    the most hostile country pairs share culture, but differ in their political institutions. The

    cultural similarity variables are based on race, religion, and civilization, all of which are

    positively correlated with questions about political culture in the World Values Survey.

    Through the analysis of articles written by the North Korean Central News Agency, I also

    show that Pyongyang began to describe life in South Korea in more negative terms after

    South Korea democratized in 1987.

    Ph.D. student in the Political Economy and Government Program at Harvard University. Email: al-

    ada@fas.harvard.edu. I am very grateful for comments on this paper and earlier versions to James Robinson,

    Alberto Alesina, Alastair Iain Johnston, Andrei Shleifer, Beth Simmons, and Stephen Walt. I would also like to

    thank Muhammet Bas, Robert Bates, Matthew Baum, Dee Beutel, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Aubrey Clark, An-

    drew Coe, Richard Evans, Matthew Fehrs, James Feigenbaum, Nils Hagerdal, Leander Heldring, Marek Hlavac,

    Aida Hozic, Nahomi Ichino, Stathis Kalyvas, Horacio Larreguy, John Marshall, Barak Mendelsohn, Shinasi

    Rama, Robert Schub, Adam Szeidl, Dustin Tingley, Miklos Toth, George Yin, Joachim Voth, and workshop and

    conference participants for their comments and suggestions.

  • Contents

    1 Introduction 1

    2 Militarized Interstate Disputes Analysis 5

    2.1 Data Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

    2.1.1 Conflict Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

    2.1.2 Cultural Data: Broad Measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

    2.1.3 Cultural Data: Narrow Measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

    2.1.4 Institutions and Covariates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    2.2 Descriptive Evidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    2.3 Hypotheses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

    2.3.1 Baseline Estimates (H1 and H2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

    2.3.2 World Values Survey (H3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

    2.3.3 Conflict Initiation (H4) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

    2.3.4 Testing the Mechanism: Social Learning (H5) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

    2.3.5 Joint Estimation of War and Democratization (H6) . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

    2.3.6 Estimation of Domestic Repression (H7) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

    2.3.7 Frequency of Domestic Pressure (H8) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

    2.4 Geography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

    2.5 Alternative Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

    2.6 Endogeneity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

    2.7 Robustness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

    2.7.1 Data Concerns and Specifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    2.7.2 Subsamples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

    2.7.3 Subperiods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

    2.7.4 World Values Survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

    3 Analysis of the North Korean Propaganda (1978-96) 34

    3.1 North Korean Ideology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

    3.2 KCNA Articles 1978-96: South Koreas Democratization . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

    4 Conclusions 41

  • A Appendix 43

    A.1 World Values Survey Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

    References 46

    B Tables and Figures 51

    3

  • 1 Introduction

    This paper analyzes how identity and cultural ties between nations affect international secu-

    rity, and in particular the propensity for interstate hostility and war. The existing research

    on this question has mixed or weak findings (Huntington 1993, Huntington 1996, Henderson

    1998, Russett, Oneal and Cox 2000, Chiozza 2002, Gartzke and Gleditsch 2006). Yet recently

    Spolaore and Wacziarg 2012 use genetic distance instead of broader cultural similarity and find

    that genetic proximity is associated with war-proneness. Spolaore and Wacziarg 2012 build

    an evolutionary model to account for this finding, where they assume that genetic proximity

    implies more issues to fight over. But what is the role of political institutions when considering

    the impact of culture on war-proneness?

    My innovation in this paper is twofold. First, I tie the research of Spolaore and Wacziarg

    2012 to the culture and conflict literature by investigating whether in conflicts genetic proximity

    is a proxy for cultural proximity. Second, almost all of the little existing past work ignores how

    domestic political institutions change the impact of shared identity on war-proneness. Yet a

    blossoming research area on diffusion shows how important it is to investigate institutions and

    identity jointly: institutions and policies spread from one country to another over cultural

    networks (e.g. Rose 1993, Simmons and Elkins 2004, Zhukov and Stewart 2013). In this paper I

    investigate the joint impact of shared identity (in the form of cultural similarity) and institutions

    on hostility.

    Why is diffusion related to conflict? The fact that institutions spread between countries

    implies that elites in repressive regimes are threatened by a country with shared identity where

    citizens are empowered, and this threat can lead to international conflict. The example of the

    two Koreas illustrates such a case vividly. North Korean citizens are most likely to push for

    change when they are inspired by a democracy with shared identity ties such as South Korea.

    As a result, North Korean dictators work to prevent their citizens from learning about South

    Korean democracy. They even use force against South Korea to ensure that North Korean

    citizens see their Southern brothers as an enemy rather than a model. Thus, conflict is most

    likely when two countries share identity, but differ in their political institutions (most typically

    a contrast between a repressive regime and a more democratic one). My theory is applicable

    both to full-blown military conflict (use of force; war with at least 1000 battle deaths), as well

    as to lower level-hostility (e.g. threat to use force; display of force) and verbal conflict.

    1

  • Why do hostility and war make citizens less likely to copy a culturally-similar1 democracy?

    First, a war can physically destroy an inspiring democracy. Second, the identity literature argues

    that each individual possesses a multiplicity of nominal identity categories, and at any given

    point in time only a subset of these identities is activated (Posner 2004, Chandra 2004, Abdelal

    et al. 2006, Abdelal, Yoshiko Herrera and McDermott 2009, Chandra 2012). The dictator who

    fears the diffusion of democracy from a neighbor with shared identity ties can deactivate this

    shared identity at least temporarily through hostility and thus prevent social learning. Hostility

    and war make groups fighting on opposite sides regard each other as outgroups rather than

    ingroups.2 Furthermore, dispute initiation against a democracy strengthens anti-democratic

    extremists in the target democracy (Gibler and Tir 2014) and allows the dictator to portray

    democratic forces at home as unpatriotic.

    How do we know that two countries are culturally similar in a consequential way? Previous

    research finds that cultural markers that aid international diffusion are highly visible (Simmons

    and Elkins 2004). Examples are religion, ethnicity and race. Visibility matters because of cog-

    nitive heuristics (Kahneman and Tversky 1973, Kahneman, Sovic and Tversky 1982). Weyland

    (2006) describes three cognitive shortcuts in his study on the diffusion of Latin American welfare

    institutions: availability, representativeness, and anchoring. The availability heuristic captures

    peoples tendency to place excessive importance on information that - for logically accidental

    reasons - has special immediacy, strikingness, and impact, that grabs their attention (Weyland

    2006, p.47). Highly visible shared cultural markers make the example of a country immediate

    and striking. The representativeness heuristic makes people draw excessively clear and confident

    conclusions based on the available information. Finally, due to anchoring people fail to adapt

    1I use cu