CSMaP Wins 2022 APSA Award

September 20, 2022  ·   News

Our scholars won Best Article in the Information Technology and Politics Section.

Text about the 2022 APSA Annual Meeting in front of an image of the city of Montreal, where the event was located.

Credit: APSA

At the 2022 American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, we were delighted to learn that four CSMaP scholars — Nejla Ašimović, Jonathan Nagler, Richard Bonneau, and Joshua A. Tucker — won the Information Technology and Politics Section's Best Article Award!

The article, "Testing the Effects of Facebook Usage in an Ethnically Polarized Setting," was published in June 2021 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It analyzed social media usage in Bosnia and Herzegovina and found evidence that users who abstain from social media use report lower regard for ethnic outgroups than those who stayed active.


Despite the belief that social media is altering intergroup dynamics—bringing people closer or further alienating them from one another—the impact of social media on interethnic attitudes has yet to be rigorously evaluated, especially within areas with tenuous interethnic relations. We report results from a randomized controlled trial in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), exploring the effects of exposure to social media during 1 wk around genocide remembrance in July 2019 on a set of interethnic attitudes of Facebook users. We find evidence that, counter to preregistered expectations, people who deactivated their Facebook profiles report lower regard for ethnic outgroups than those who remained active. Moreover, we present additional evidence suggesting that this effect is likely conditional on the level of ethnic heterogeneity of respondents’ residence. We also extend the analysis to include measures of subjective well-being and knowledge of news. Here, we find that Facebook deactivation leads to suggestive improvements in subjective wellbeing and a decrease in knowledge of current events, replicating results from recent research in the United States in a very different context, thus increasing our confidence in the generalizability of these effects.