Intergroup Trust After War: The Effects of Migration

Project leader

Ashok Swain, Professor

Project Period

2015 – ongoing

Other Project Employees

Jonathan Hall, Assistant Professor

Project Description

This project will contribute to post-war public opinion research by examining the perceptions of migrants – the gastarbeiter, the refugee, the family reunited after war – and the local population in comparative perspective. Existing surveys of post-war populations are typically conducted in a single country affected by war. However, particularly following forced expulsion and campaigns of ethnic cleansing substantial portions of national communities affected by conflict no longer live within the boundaries of the state. Data collection efforts nevertheless remain confined within the borders of individual post-war states. Current research may therefore overlook important populations as well as contextual factors that shape post-war attitudes. To address this problem, this project will examine a key assumption in the literature: that migrants from war torn countries harbor more conflictive attitudes than the local population back home. Going beyond the single country approach of previous studies, we will conduct simultaneous surveys and fieldwork among Iraqis in two settlement countries – Sweden and Jordan. To analyze the multi-sited data, we will apply a novel social-psychological framework that explains how settlement country conditions shape societal beliefs that arise in the context of ethnic mobilization and war.


Cochrane, Feargal, Bahar Baser, and Ashok Swain. 2009. "Home Thoughts from Abroad: Diasporas and Peace-Building in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka." Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 32 (8):681-704.

Hall, Jonathan. 2013. Migration and Perceptions of War: Simultaneous Surveys in Countries of Origin and Settlement. PhD Dissertation. Uppsala: Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University.

Hall, Jonathan. 2014. "Are Migrants More Extreme Than Locals After War? Evidence From A Simultaneous Survey of Migrants in Sweden and Locals in Bosnia." Journal of Conflict Resolution. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1177/0022002714540471.

Swain, Ashok, ed., Diasporas, Armed Conflicts and Peacebuilding in their Homelands (Uppsala University, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Report No. 79, 2007).

 Swain, Ashok. 2012. Understanding Emerging Security Challenges: Threats and Opportunities. London: Routledge.

Main Financial Support

Swedish Research Council (VR)