Propaganda in action

Chris Blattman flags a fascinating new paper from David Yanagizaw of Stockholm University that attempts to quantify the influence of the infamous Radio Milles Collines during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Here’s the abstract: To identify causal effects, I exploit arguably exogenous variation in radio coverage generated by hills in the line-of-sight between radio transmitters and ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images

Chris Blattman flags a fascinating new paper from David Yanagizaw of Stockholm University that attempts to quantify the influence of the infamous Radio Milles Collines during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Here's the abstract:

To identify causal effects, I exploit arguably exogenous variation in radio coverage generated by hills in the line-of-sight between radio transmitters and villages. Consistent with the model under strategic complements in violence, I find that Radio RTLM increased participation in violence, that the effects were decreasing in ethnic polarization, highly non-linear in radio coverage, and decreasing in literacy rates. Finally, the estimated effects are substantial. Complete village adio coverage increased violence by 65 to 77 percent, and a simple counter-factual calculation suggests that approximately 9 percent of the genocide, corresponding to at least 45 000 Tutsi deaths, can be explained by the radio station.

 

Chris Blattman flags a fascinating new paper from David Yanagizaw of Stockholm University that attempts to quantify the influence of the infamous Radio Milles Collines during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Here’s the abstract:

To identify causal effects, I exploit arguably exogenous variation in radio coverage generated by hills in the line-of-sight between radio transmitters and villages. Consistent with the model under strategic complements in violence, I find that Radio RTLM increased participation in violence, that the effects were decreasing in ethnic polarization, highly non-linear in radio coverage, and decreasing in literacy rates. Finally, the estimated effects are substantial. Complete village adio coverage increased violence by 65 to 77 percent, and a simple counter-factual calculation suggests that approximately 9 percent of the genocide, corresponding to at least 45 000 Tutsi deaths, can be explained by the radio station.

 

 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Media

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.