Regions at Risk: Predicting Conflict Zones in African Insurgencies

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Authors Sebastian Schutte
Journal/Conference Name POLITICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH AND METHODS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract A method for predicting conflict zones in civil wars based on point process models is presented in this paper. Instead of testing the validity of specific theoretical conjectures about the determinants of violence in a causal framework, this paper builds on classic literature and a wide body of recent studies to predict conflict zones based on a series of geographic conditions. Using an innovative cross-validation design, the study shows that the quantitative research program on the micro-foundations of violence in civil conflict has crafted generalizable insights permitting out-of-sample predictions of conflict zones. The study region is delimited to 10 countries in SubSaharan Africa that experienced full-blown insurgencies in the post-Cold War era. ∗Paper prepared to be dragged through a cleansing fire of critical comments by Yuri Zhukov and other participants of the Peace Science Society Workshop “Disaggregation in Terrorism Studies”, Philadelphia PA, October 9, 2014. †I would like to thank Rolf Turner for having saved the day twice when I got lost in the intricacies of the spatstat package for the R programming language.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R
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