|Title||Fear and Politics in Divided Societies: Assessing the Foundations of Political Behavior in Lebanon.|
|C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale||
Much contemporary research on political behavior in the Middle East and other developing regions emphasizes the role of clientelism in structuring elections and politics. Yet there is good reason to think that other factors beyond clientelist transactions shape political behavior in important ways. In particular, we focus on the political effects of fear in the context of instability, violence and the erosion of political order - a set of conditions that is unfortunately increasingly common throughout the Middle East and North Africa and in other developing regions. In this context, millions of Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans, Yemenis and Lebanese, among others, live in a state of fear and uncertainty. What impact does this state of affairs have on political attitudes and behavior?
At the same time, new political movements and initiatives indicate that citizens across the region are craving an alternative to clientelist politics. In this research, we aim to move beyond the current prevailing conceptualization of politics in developing countries as short-term clientelist transactions to consider a range of alternative or additional material and nonmaterial factors that may affect political behavior. The relative importance of fear and promises of protection against threats by violent extremists is then compared to a range of other possible motivations driving support for politicians, including the receipt of distinct levels and types of clientelist handouts and programmatic policy preferences, among other factors.
|C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?||
H1a: Low-value, short-term clientelist distribution is more likely to affect electoral behavior than willingness to take part in demonstrations, while high-value, more continuous clientelist distribution should affect both outcomes.
|C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *||
This research employs a conjoint experimental design (Hainmueller & Hopkins, 2014), in which voters are asked to choose between two hypothetical candidates. Certain aspects of each candidate's background are randomized to identify the causal effect of each attribute on respondents' willingness to vote for the candidate and to attend a rally sponsored by the candidate. In addition, for those respondents who are assigned to a version of the survey which combines a priming experiment with the conjoint experiment, we will randomly prime half of the respondents in the sample to think about what makes them fearful about their current political situation in order to test how living in a volatile political environment shapes preferences for political candidates. After each task (pair) in the conjoint experiment, we will ask respondents [in a randomized order] 1) which candidate they would vote for 2) how likely they would be to attend a rally or demonstration organized by each candidate (on a scale 1-7).
We will estimate the AMCEs by running regressions of the outcome variables (vote choice and willingness to attend candidate-organized rallies) on sets of indicator variables measuring the levels of each attribute. We will also compare the effects of candidate attributes among individuals in the fear prime control and treatment groups to explore how the estimated AMCEs differ in distinct political contexts (i.e., safe versus volatile). Specifically, we will show the results of our tests when divided in separated groups by priming treatment, as well as the differences in AMCEs for each attribute level between the two experimental (activity control/fear prime) conditions. Finally, to test our hypotheses about in-group identities, we will also run analyses including a dummy coding whether the respondent belongs to the same religious sect as the candidate. We will also estimate the AMCEs by running regressions on the theoretically relevant subsets of respondents as suggested by our hypotheses. Specifically, we will estimate AMCEs for high SES and low SES individuals; religious and nonreligious respondents; respondents tolerant and intolerant of out-groups; and non-partisans, marginal activists, and core supporters.
|C5 Scale (# of Units)||2400|
|C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection?||No|
|C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval?||Yes|
|C8 IRB Number||RB17-0058|
|C9 Date of IRB Approval||5/26/2017|
|C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party?||Statistics Lebanon|
|C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research?||not provided by authors|
|C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published?||not provided by authors|
|C13 JEL Classification(s)||D72|