The Impact of Hate Literature on Radicalization in Pakistan

Last registered on September 28, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Impact of Hate Literature on Radicalization in Pakistan
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008251
Initial registration date
September 25, 2021
Last updated
September 28, 2021, 4:50 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
New Economic School Moscow

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Lahore University of Management Sciences

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-10-01
End date
2022-08-10
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
In many vulnerable democracies, radicalization poses a significant challenge. Radicalization as a precursor to political violence may be a threat to both democracy and development. Policymakers must decide from many policy options based on little to no evidence. Does limiting access to hate literature work best or is it the case that counter-narrative messaging and subsidizing competitors’ content more effective? We hope to inform this debate and contribute to the literature on determinants of political violence by conducting a pilot study where we explore the feasibility of several interventions that may reduce support for extremist ideologies. Our focus groups with vulnerable populations guide us to pilot 6 interventions. The randomized evaluation stemming from this pilot may provide new causal evidence on: i. how hate literature impacts support for extremist ideologies? ii. Does subsidizing counter-narrative messaging work, if so, what kind of counter-messaging is most likely to reduce support for extremist violence? iii. Does reducing access to hate literature and counter-narratives work as complements or substitutes?
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Asad, Saher and Sultan Mehmood. 2021. "The Impact of Hate Literature on Radicalization in Pakistan." AEA RCT Registry. September 28. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8251-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
In this pilot, we roll out treatment across 35 villages with 5 villages per treatment (with 18 individuals per village). Our individual level sample for 35 villages will collect baseline and end line information for a total of 630 individuals in the 35 villages. The data from pilot will then also be used for conduct power calculations for the full experiment and assess feasibility of some of the interventions. For instance, the pilot will allow us to assess the response of readers of hate literature to our supply shock of removing these magazines from main display shelves or relegating them to “middle invisible shelf” (according to a bookshop owner’s suggestion). The pilot will also help us further in understanding which interventions are feasible as well as most interesting and have potential. The assignment to treatment will be done at the village level but the outcomes will be measured at the individual level. To summarize, we hope to the following pilot 6 treatments and 1 control across the 35 villages and implement the following interventions:

T1: Invisible Hate Treatment – Paying bookshop owners not to display extremist publication.
T2: Counter-Narrative Treatment – Introducing popular counter-narrative literature without changing supply:
T2a: Secularization Counter Messaging – we subsidize secular positive science publication while keeping the supply of Zarb e Momin (hate literature) unchanged.
T2b: Religious Counter Messaging - a religious non extremist treatment while keeping the supply of Zarb e Momin unchanged.
T3: Education Treatment - Educating people on responsible media use and impacts of hate speech.
T4: Negative Access to Hate Shock X Counter-Narrative– T1 and introducing counter-narrative
T5: Negative Access to Hate Shock X Education – T1 and educating people on responsible use of media and impacts of hate speech
C: Control Group – No intervention
Intervention Start Date
2021-11-01
Intervention End Date
2022-07-10

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key list of outcomes we plan to study include conducting surveys in the pilot: terrorism incidents in the district, support for extremist ideologies; support for terrorist organizations; willingness to pay for accessing radical literature; number of terrorist cases registered in the area, perspectives on other social issues such as women’s empowerment (domestic violence, women activism for their rights such as right to an inheritance), support for political violence, financial support for terrorist organizations, willingness to pay for accessing radical literature perspectives on women’s empowerment, degree of slant in gender norms and other development outcomes such as self-reported income and asset ownership. We will conduct baseline and endline surveys by phone whenever possible. The baseline survey we will be conducted before starting the interventions and endline survey will be conducted 6 months after launch of interventions.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will design and pilot baseline and endline (phone & in-person, depending on the COVID-19 situation) surveys with people in sample villages. Our primary population of interest will be a random sample of individuals in age range 18-35 years old in treatment and control villages. We also plan to stratify on gender as men and women have different channels of information so a comparison of men and women will provide useful insights. We will pilot the following treatments which we randomize at the village level:
T1: Invisible Hate Treatment – Paying bookshop owners not to display extremist publication.
T2: Counter-Narrative Treatment – Introducing popular counter-narrative literature without changing supply:
T2a: Secularization Counter Messaging – we subsidize secular positive science publication while keeping the supply of Zarb e Momin (hate literature) unchanged.
T2b: Religious Counter Messaging - a religious non extremist treatment while keeping the supply of Zarb e Momin unchanged.
T3: Education Treatment - Educating people on responsible media use and impacts of hate speech.
T4: Negative Access to Hate Shock X Counter-Narrative– T1 and introducing counter-narrative
T5: Negative Access to Hate Shock X Education – T1 and educating people on responsible use of media and impacts of hate speech
C: Control Group – No intervention
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Village level randomization done by a computer (in Stata).
Randomization Unit
Village
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Pilot will have 35 villages with 18 individuals per village.
Sample size: planned number of observations
18 x 35 = 630
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
7 arms including control so 35/5 = 5 villages per treatment arm for this pilot
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Will be done after the conclusion of this pilot.
Supporting Documents and Materials

Documents

Document Name
Full Proposal with Details on the Pilot_Hate Speech_Violence
Document Type
proposal
Document Description
File
Full Proposal with Details on the Pilot_Hate Speech_Violence

MD5: ab5d1ffe6b9f35cfca2f551ee9effbca

SHA1: 12e145271cad22855f1d2c7b68bac2bf6e785772

Uploaded At: September 25, 2021

IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Pre Analysis Plan and Proposal

MD5: ab5d1ffe6b9f35cfca2f551ee9effbca

SHA1: 12e145271cad22855f1d2c7b68bac2bf6e785772

Uploaded At: September 25, 2021