Inverted “U” of fear: The paradox of conflict exposure and expected victimization in Kaduna, Nigeria

08 May 2024, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


Using novel survey data collected from the Northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, this study examines the effect of exposure to violent conflict on people’s expectation of being directly affected by violent conflict in the future. The regression results show that there is a curvilinear relationship akin to an inverted “U” between conflict exposure and expected victimization. This suggests that at low levels of conflict exposure, people worry that they will be victimized. As conflict exposure increases, so does their fear of being victimized. This persists until the point at which expected victimization peaks. Further exposure to violent conflict beyond this peak leads to a decline in expected victimization. The decline after the peak might be because the threat of violent conflict prompts people to rely more heavily on their ethnoreligious kinship ties for both material and non-material support, which in turn attenuates their fear of being victimized.


Violent conflict
Social cohesion


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.