Reducing Competitive Victimhood in Kosovo: The Role of Extended Contact and Common Ingroup Identity



During intractable conflicts, “competitive victimhood” refers to the subjective belief that one's own ingroup has suffered more than the outgroup. Although competitive victimhood is considered an important inhibitor of reconciliation processes, no research has attempted to examine ways of reducing it. The present study aims to fill this gap. Kosovar Albanians students (N = 170) were asked to report their perception of ingroup and outgroup victimhood during the protracted violence between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo. Our findings revealed that frequent and high-quality extended contact with outgroup members and identification with a common ingroup reduced competitive victimhood. The effects of extended contact and common ingroup identification were fully mediated by increased perspective taking and trust toward the outgroup, and by decreased outgroup infrahumanization. The implications of these results for restoring fractured intergroup relations are discussed.