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Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

Political Trenches: War, Polarization and Partnership

Saumitra Jha (Stanford University), joint with Pauline Grosjean, Michael Vlassopoulos and Yves Zenou

Tuesday 05 December 2023 14:00 - 15:30

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

We study the dynamics between local segregation, partisan conversion, and political polarization. We use the large-scale exogenous assignment to peers in a high-stakes historical context: that of universally conscripted soldiers assigned from each of 35,000 municipalities to line infantry regiments in WWI France. We wed these to municipality-level voting data immediately before and after the war. We first find that municipalities whose soldiers were assigned to the same line regiment in WWI converge politically after the war. Further, by exploiting local discontinuities in regimental assignment across 435 military boundaries, we demonstrate that adjacent municipalities that happened to be assigned to different regiments containing strong political partisans diverge from each other, towards the political preferences of those partisans. These further generate sharp local differences across military boundaries after the war, manifesting themselves both in extreme local political polarization in the inter-war period and ultimately in violent civil conflict between Collaborators and the Resistance during WWII.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, both ONLINE AND IN PERSON in room SAL 3.05, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Mathilde Emeriau

Contact to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.

For further information please contact Maddie Giles: