Can ‘we’ share the contested territory with ‘them’? Shared territorial ownership perceptions and reconciliation intentions in Kosovo

N. Storz, Borja Martinovic, Edona Maloku, Iris Žeželj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Territorial ownership claims are central to many interethnic conflicts and can constitute an obstacle to conflict resolution and reconciliation. However, people in conflict areas might also have a perception that the territory simultaneously belongs to one’s ingroup and the rival outgroup. We expected such perceptions of shared ownership to be related to higher reconciliation intentions. We examined this expectation in relation to the territory of Kosovo among random national samples of Albanians and Serbs from Kosovo, and Serbs from Serbia (Study 1, total N = 995). In general, participants perceived low levels of shared ownership, however, shared ownership perceptions were positively related to reconciliation intentions in Kosovo. In Study 2 (total N = 375), we experimentally manipulated shared ownership (vs. ingroup ownership) and found that shared ownership elicited stronger reconciliation intentions. It is concluded that fostering a sense of shared ownership can be important for improving intergroup relations in post-conflict settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-586
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Volume61
Issue number2
Early online date9 Sept 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Albanians
  • Kosovo
  • Serbs
  • collective psychological ownership
  • reconciliation intentions
  • shared ownership perceptions

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