The Legitimacy of Negotiated Peace: Social Preferences, Victimhood, and the Colombian Peace Process

Co-PIs: Ryan Carlin; Jennifer McCoy; Greg Love, University of Mississippi; and Jelena Subotic

This project, funded by NSF, examines how basic pro-social orientations and victimhood influence the Colombian public’s support for potential outcomes of the ongoing peace negotiations between the government and the FARC guerrillas. Peace negotiators must agree on issues such as jail time, the truth, demobilization, reparations, and socio-political re-integration. Public opinion towards such outcomes is crucial since any eventual peace deal must ultimately be ratified by the electorate. The study employs on-line experimental survey techniques and focus groups.  The results of our study will hold lessons for Colombian leaders and policymakers tasked with both reaching a peace agreement and, subsequently, designing post-conflict institutions to sustain peace and foster social cohesion. Our study can also inform US foreign policy priorities towards Colombia, a major aid recipient and strategic partner in the hemisphere.