NOVAFRICA Working Paper “Preventing Violent Islamic Radicalization: Experimental Evidence on Anti-social Behavior”

A new working paper has been added to the NOVAFRICA Working Papers Series. Written by Pedro C. Vicente and Inês Vilela, this paper evaluates the impact of two randomized interventions aiming at preventing violence related to youth radicalization in Mozambique.

Title: Preventing Violent Islamic Radicalization: Experimental Evidence on Anti-social Behavior

Pedro C. Vicente (Nova SBE, BREAD and NOVAFRICA)
Inês Vilela (Royal Holloway – University of London, and NOVAFRICA)

Violence perpetrated by radicalized Muslims is a major problem around the world. We collaborated with the main Islamic authority in Mozambique, which sponsored two randomized interventions to prevent violence related to youth radicalization: a religious campaign against extremist views of Islam, targeting change in beliefs; and a training module on entrepreneurship and employment, aiming to increase the opportunity cost of conflict. Our measurement focuses on anti-social behavior in a Joy-of-destruction lab game. We find that only the religious treatment decreased the propensity to destroy payoffs of others. Consistently, surveys show increased trust in state and decreased support for extremism.

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