Africa & Development
Research insight
Editorial from
Alex Armand
Assistant Professor at Nova SBE
November 16, 2022
16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Can FM radio mitigate violent conflict?

This study conducted by Alex Armand, Paul Atwell, and Joseph Flavian Gomes, published in the American Economic Review, examines the role of FM radio in mitigating violent conflict and was highlighted in our latest research video.


We examine the role of FM radio in mitigating violent conflict. We collect original data on radio broadcasts encouraging defections during the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency. This constitutes the first quantitative evaluation of an active counterinsurgency policy that encourages defections through radio messages. Exploiting random topography- driven variation in radio coverage along with panel variation at the grid-cell level we identify the causal effect of messaging on violence. Broadcasting defection messages increases defections and reduces fatalities, violence against civilians, and clashes with security forces. Income shocks have opposing effects on both the conflict and the effectiveness of messaging.

Paper is available here

Alex Armand
Assistant Professor at Nova SBE

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