Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Predicting political hotspots: Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments

Date:
January 20, 2011
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a model predicting which countries will likely experience an escalation in domestic political violence against their governments within the next five years. The model is currently five for five, most recently predicting Tunisia.

The forecast for predicting the next political hotspots could be much more accurate because of a model developed by two Kansas State University professors and a colleague in New York.

The model, named the Predictive Societal Indicators of Radicalism Model of Domestic Political Violence Forecast, is currently five for five in predicting which countries will likely experience an escalation in domestic political violence against their governments within the next five years.

"So far it's been pretty accurate," said Sam Bell, assistant professor of political science at K-State. Bell created the forecast model with Amanda Murdie, K-State assistant professor of political science, and David Cingranelli, professor of political science at Binghamton University, Binghamton, N.Y. It was developed for Milcord, an Open Innovation company that builds knowledge management solutions for federal agencies.

To date the model has successfully predicted civil unrest in Peru, Ireland, Ecuador, Italy and most recently, Tunisia. Iran is currently at the top of the list.

"What's interesting is that while our model predicts violence in countries like Honduras and Iran, it's also predicting it in western democracies," Murdie said. "For example, our model predicted violence in Ireland. That happened recently due to the International Monetary Fund bailout."

To create the forecast model, the researchers built a database using publicly available information on 150 countries. It contains the frequency and intensity of domestic political violence from 1990-2009. According to Bell, this violence includes anything from a sit-in that turns into a physical altercation to an embassy bombing.

Although other forecast models have been created, this is one of the most encompassing, Murdie said. It accounts for factors like repression, governmental aid to nongovernmental organizations, aid to countries to help build security, and Internet and mobile phone usage.

In order to forecast domestic political violence, three concepts are accounted for: coercion, coordination and capacity.

Coercion is defined by violations of physical rights. This heightens the motivation of protestors, according to Murdie.

"I think that was one of the biggest findings from our model: that adhering to basic human rights limits the political violence," she said. "In covering all these countries and in looking at this passage of time, we find that human rights crackdowns still hurt a country the most, even to this day.

"There's this tendency for government to be reactionary and crack down on political rights in order to suppress political violence, but we find that crackdowns lead to this mobilization effect where people take to the streets," she said. "The human rights crackdowns don't stop insurgency; they help fuel it."

The second concept, coordination, is how easily a domestic group can mobilize.

"Two summers ago in Iran we really saw the YouTube and Twitter effect in regard to a population's ability to coordinate and increase the level of violence," Murdie said. This mobile coordination can either quickly diffuse or escalate the level of violence.

Capacity, the third factor, is the ability of a country to project itself throughout its territory, thus limiting the intensity of domestic violence against government.

Although the current model operates at a macro level, Bell said it's possible to isolate certain countries and aggregate a much smaller time frame from the current five-year forecast. The researchers have also thought about using the database to create a risk assessment for civilian terrorism against other citizens.

The Domestic Political Violence Forecasting Model has been developed under the Predictive Societal Indicators of Radicalism project sponsored by the Air Force Research Labs Rome Research Laboratory. A list of the top 37 countries projected to experience civil unrest between now and 2014 and updates on forecast accuracy can be found online at http://radicalism.milcord.com/blog.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Predicting political hotspots: Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119120544.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2011, January 20). Predicting political hotspots: Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119120544.htm
Kansas State University. "Predicting political hotspots: Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119120544.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

AP (July 23, 2014) Six people were indicted Wednesday in an international ring that took over more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets that were then resold. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins