Thou shalt not kill : social psychological processes and international humanitarian law among combatants
Emanuele Castano, Sabina Čehajić-Clancy and Daniel Muñoz-Rojas
Host item entries:
Peace and conflict : journal of peace psychology, Vol. 26, no. 1, 2020, p. 35-46
Bibliography : p. 42-44
This article reports the findings of an empirical study on the attitudes and behavior of combatants from four conflict-ridden countries (Bosnia-Herezegovina, Georgia, Republic of the Congo, and Colombia) who were surveyed by delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The study focused on violations of international humanitarian law (IHL), with a specific emphasis on violence against other human beings. Results indicate that having been victim of violence is positively associated with violent behavior committed in the past, notably by making it more likely for the combatant to be a volunteer in an armed group, rather than a recruit. Also, status of the conbatants (volunteer vs. recruited), having commited violations in the past, and knowledge of IHL, jointly predict intentions to respect IHL in the future. Finally, the study found that the self-justification processes of demonization of the enemy predicts lower intentions to respect IHL, but high-knowledge of IHL can act as a remedy.