The Long Shadow: The Long-Term Consequences of Armed Conflict for Population Change in Tajikistan

Michelle O'Brien in Tajikistan
O'Brien, Michelle L. 2018. "The Long Shadow: The Long-Term Consequences of Armed Conflict for Population Change in Tajikistan." Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of Washington.
Steven J. Pfaff (Chair), Scott B. Radnitz (GSR), Sara R. Curran, Stewart E. Tolnay, Nathalie E. Williams.

Armed conflict creates uncertainty, endangers individual physical safety, and threatens the destruction of institutions. This dissertation examines the long-term consequences of armed conflict for educational attainment, abortion, and migration, ten years after the end of the Tajikistani civil war. Short-term disruptions in schooling during the war have ramifications for degree completion later in life for boys, while broad changes stemming from the regime change have ramifications for girls’ attainment. These differences diminish for the region where investment in education has been consistently higher, suggesting that development strategies can moderate the negative effects of armed conflict in the long run. For some cohorts of women, the likelihood of having an abortion decreased over the long run when exposed to conflict at childbearing ages, although for some women the number of abortions declined. These changes fade over the long run. Finally, exposure to conflict events fundamentally changes some features of the institutional landscape which in turn affect livelihood strategies. People in places with more exposure to conflict events were more likely to decide to migrate ten years after the end of the war, all else equal. Together, these findings suggest that when it comes to the long-term outcomes of armed conflict, it is not only individual exposure that matters, but also institutional exposure.