Along with co-author Andrew Miller, Evan Lieberman is studying whether online newspapers promote or undermine nation-building in divided societies. Editorial decisions to reference specific, subnational ethnic groups can serve as consequential reminders of relevant social categories. Using evidence from Africa, the authors find that the use of some ethnic categories in headlines is associated with a significant increase in the probability of at least one reader making an ethnic-based comment.

Thanks to the support of a Catalyst grant from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CiFAR), Evan Lieberman and Allison Harell are examining the effects of information about race disparities in COVID-related mortality on public opinion. They examine whether providing information about ethnic- and race-based disparities concerning the prevalence of infectious disease elicits a sense of urgency, and helps foster the types of attitudes and behaviors that contribute to a more thoroughgoing and effective response? Or whether such information causes some to believe that this is a problem that affects “them,” but not “us”, effectively reducing personal and collective urgency? The authors test these theories with a nationally representative study.