Skip to main content
×
Home

Does Combat Experience Foster Organizational Skill? Evidence from Ethnic Cleansing during the Partition of South Asia

  • SAUMITRA JHA (a1) and STEVEN WILKINSON (a2)
Abstract

Can combat experience foster organizational skills that engender political collective action? We use the arbitrary assignment of troops to combat in World War II to identify the effect of combat experience on two channels that change local ethnic composition and future political control: ethnic cleansing and co-ethnic immigration. During the Partition of South Asia, we find that ethnically mixed districts whose veterans were exposed to greater combat exhibited greater co-ethnic immigration and minority ethnic cleansing, with minority out-migration achieved with lower loss-of-life. Further, where ethnic groups had been in complementary economic roles or the minority received greater combat experience, there was less ethnic cleansing. We interpret these results as reflecting the strategic role of ethnic cleansing and co-ethnic immigration by groups seeking political control and the role of combat experience in enhancing organizational skills at credibly threatening violence and engaging in collective action.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Saumitra Jha is Assistant Professor of Political Economy, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, 655 Knight Way, Stanford, CA 94305 (saumitra@gsb.stanford.edu).
Steven Wilkinson is Nilekani Professor of India and South Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science, Yale University, 115 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06520 (steven.wilkinson@yale.edu).
References
Hide All
Acemoglu Daron, and Robinson James A.. 2000. “Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 67: 585608.
Acemoglu Daron, and Robinson James A.. 2005. Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Aiyar Swarna. 1998. “‘August Anarchy’: The Partition Massacres in Punjab, 1947.” In Freedom, Trauma, Continuities: Northern India and Independence, eds. Low D. A. and Brested Howard. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 1538.
Alesina Alberto, Spolaore Enrico, and Wacziarg Romain. 2005. Trade, Growth and the Size of Countries. In Handbook of Economic Growth, eds. Aghion Phillippe and Durlauf Steven. Amsterdam: North-Holland.
Angrist Joshua. 1990. “Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records.” American Economic Review 80 (3): 313–36.
Baldwin Kate, and Huber John. 2010. “Economic versus Cultural Differences: Forms of Ethnic Diversity and Public Goods Provision.” American Political Science Review 104 (4): 644–62.
Banerjee Abhijit, and Iyer Lakshmi. 2005History, Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India.” American Economic Review 95 (4): 11901213.
Banerjee Abhijit, Iyer Lakshmi, and Somanathan Rohini. 2008Public Action for Public Goods.” In Handbook of Development Economics, Vol. 4, eds. Schultz T. Paul and Strauss John. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Beckham J.C., Moore S.D., and Reynolds V.. 2000Interpersonal Hostility and Violence in Vietnam Combat Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Review of Theoretical Models and Empirical Evidence.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 5, 451–66.
Bellows John, and Miguel Edward. 2008. “War and Local Collective Action in Sierra Leone.” December 2008. University of California, Berkeley: Mimeo.
Besley Timothy, and Persson Torsten. 2010. “State Capacity, Conflict and Development.” Econometrica 78 (1): 134.
Bharadwaj Prashant, Khwaja Asim, and Mian Atif. 2008a. “The Big March: Migratory Flows after the Partition of India.” Economic and Political Weekly 43 (35): 3949.
Bharadwaj Prashant, Khwaja Asim, and Mian Atif. 2008b. “The Partition of India: Demographic Consequences.” Harvard Kennedy School, Unpublished manuscript.
Blattman Christopher. 2009. “From Violence to Voting: War and Political Participation in Uganda.” American Political Science Review 103 (2): 231–47.
Boix Carles. 2003. Democracy and Redistribution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Brass Paul. 2003. “The Partition of India and Redistributive Genocide in the Punjab 1946–47.” Journal of Genocide Research 5 (1): 71101.
Brown Judith. 1991. Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Chandrasekaran Rajiv. 2006. Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone. New York: Vintage Books.
Chapman Thomas, and Roeder Philip G.. 2007. “Partition as a Solution to Wars of Nationalism: The Importance of Institutions.” American Political Science Review 101 (4): 677–91.
Copland Ian. 1988. “The Further Shores of Partition: Ethnic Cleansing in Rajasthan 1947.” Past and Present 19 (160): 657–704.
Copland Ian. 2002The Master and the Maharajas: The Sikh Princes and the East Punjab Massacres of 1947.” Modern Asian Studies 36 (3): 657704.
Costa Dora, and Kahn Matthew. 2005. “Forging a New Identity: The Costs and Benefits of Diversity in Civil War for Black Slaves and Freemen.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mimeo.
Damodaran Vinita. 1992. Broken Promises: Popular Protest, Indian Nationalism and the Congress Party in Bihar 1935–1946. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Downes Alexander B. 2001. “The Holy Land Divided: Defending Partition as a Solution to Ethnic Wars.” Security Studies 10 (4): 58116.
Engels Friedrich, and Marx Karl. 1848. The Communist Manifesto.
Fearon James D. 1995. “Rationalist Explanations for War,” International Organization 49 (3): 379414.
Fearon James D. 1998. “Commitment Problems and the Spread of Ethnic Conflict.” In The International Spread of Ethnic Conflict, eds. Lake David and Rothschild Donald. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 107–26.
Fearon James D., and Laitin David D.. 2003. “Ethnicity, Insurgency and Civil War.” American Political Science Review 97 (1): 7590.
Galiani Sebastian, Rossi Martin, and Schargrodsky Ernesto. 2010. “Conscription and Crime: Evidence from the Argentive Draft Lottery,” Technical Report. Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
Gash Norman. 1977. “After Waterloo: British Society and the Legacy of the Napoleonic Wars.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 28: 145–77.
Grewal J.S. 1999. The Sikhs of the Punjab. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hill K., Seltzer W., Leaning J., Malik S.J., and Russell S.S.. 2008. “The Demographic Impact of Partition in the Punjab in 1947.” Population Studies 62 (2): 155–70.
Humphreys Macartan, and Weinstein Jeremy M.. 2007. “Demobilization and Reintegration.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 51: 531–67.
Indian Army Reorganization Committee. 1945. “Reorganization of the Army and Air Forces in India: Report of a Committee Set Up by His Excellency the Commander in Chief in India.” Cariappa Articles V24. New Delhi: National Archives of India.
Jha Saumitra. 2008. “Trade, Institutions and Religious Tolerance: Evidence from India.” GSB Research Article 2004. Stanford, CA: Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Jha Saumitra, and Wilkinson Steven. N.d. “The Aftermath of War: Veterans and Revolutionary Institutional Change.” Forthcoming.
Kamtekar Indivar, 1988. “The End of the Colonial State in India 1942–47.” Ph.D. diss., Cambridge University.
Kasara Kimuli. 2010. “Using a Colonial Legacy to Estimate the Effect of Ethnic Segregation on Violence.” Columbia University. Mimeo.
Kaufmann Chaim. 1996. “Possible and Impossible Solutions to Ethnic Conflict.” International Security 20 (4): 136–75.
Khan Yasmin. 2007. The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Khosla G.D. [1951] 1991. Stern Reckoning: A Survey of the Events Leading up to and Following the Partition of India. New Delhi: Voice of India.
MacDonald Charles B. 1997. A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge. New York: Harper Perennial.
Maguen Shira, Metzler Thomas J., Litz Brett T., Seal Karen H., Knight Sara J., and Marmar Charles R.. 2009. “The Impact of Killing in War on Mental Health Symptoms and Related Functioning.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 22 (5): 435–43.
Mansergh Nicholas. 1976. The Transfer of Power 1942–47. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
Mason Philip. 1974. A Matter of Honour: An Account of the Indian Army, Its Officers and Its Men. London: Jonathan Cape.
McDonald Forrest. 1951. “The Relation of the French Peasant Veterans of the American Revolution to the Fall of Feudalism in France.” Agricultural History 25 (4): 151–61.
Menezes S.L. 1993. Fidelity and Honour: The Indian Army from the Seventeenth to the Twenty-first Century. New Delhi: Viking.
Miguel Edward, Satyanath Shanker, and Sergenti Ernest. 2004. “Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach.” Journal of Political Economy 112 (4): 725–54.
Mueller John. 2000. “The Banality of ‘Ethnic War’.” International Security 25 (1): 4270.
Muir Rory. 2000. Tactics and the Experiences of Battle in the Age of Napoleon. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
North Douglass, Wallis John, and Weingast Barry. 2009. Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O'Hanlon Michael E., and Joseph Edward P.. 2007. “The Case for Soft Partition in Iraq.” Brookings Analysis Article 12.
Petersen Roger. 2001. Resistance and Rebellion: Lessons from Eastern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Posen Barry. 1993. “The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict.” Survival (1): 2747.
Powell James S. 2010. Learning under Fire: The 112th Cavalry Regiment in World War II. College Station, TX: Texas A&M Press.
Powell Robert. 2006. “War as a Commitment Problem.” International Organization 60: 169203.
Prasad Bisheshwar, ed. 1954. Official History of the Indian Armed Forces in the Second World War, 1939–45, Vols. I–XVII. Delhi: Combined Inter-services Historical Section (India and Pakistan).
Przeworski Adam. 2007. “Conquered or Granted? A History of Suffrage Extensions.” New York University: Mimeo.
Sambanis Nicholas, and Schulhofer-Wohl Jonah. 2009. “What's in a Line? Is Partition a Solution to Civil War?International Security 34 (2): 82118.
Scheve Ken and Stasavage David. 2010The Conscription of Wealth: Mass Warfare and the Demand for Progressive Taxation,” International Organization 64 (4): 528–61.
Streets Heather. 2004. Martial Races: The Military, Race and Masculinity in British Imperial Culture. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.
Talbot Ian, and Singh Gurharpal. 2009. The Partition of India. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Talib S. Gurcharan Singh. [1950] 1991. Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947. New Delhi: Voice of India.
Wilkinson Steven. 2010. “Making India's Military Modern: The Indian Army and ‘Martial Races’ before and after Independence.” Yale University. Mimeo.
Wilkinson Steven I. 2004. Votes and Violence: Electoral Competition and Ethnic Riots in India. Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Yatchew Adonis. 2003. Semiparametric Regression for the Applied Econometrician. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jha Supplementary Material
Appendix

 Unknown (21 KB)
21 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 6
Total number of PDF views: 171 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 589 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.