A global risk assessment model for civil wars

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In this study, we construct a multivariate model that assesses the risk of an outbreak of civil war in a country over a period of 5 years into the future. In addition to structural factors of state weakness, which have dominated the literature on civil war onset, this model includes repression of basic human rights to personal integrity an important harbinger of wars to come as an aspect of state behavior. Our aim is not to explore the causal factors of civil war onset, but to build a model that includes indicators that correlate with civil war outbreak and may be used to predict it. Based on two versions of the model logit and neural network out-of-sample risk assessments for three different time periods are generated and compared to the historical record of civil war outbreak during those years. In addition, the model s ability to produce in-sample risk assessments over a 5-year period is tested. Finally, we compute truly predictive civil war risk assessments for all countries for which data are available, for the years 2008 2012. The analyses show that with a relatively simple model and based on publicly available data sources, meaningful civil war risk assessments can be computed. The quality of the predictions exceeds that of prominent studies, in which the risk of interstate war is assessed.

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Fachgebiet (DDC)
320 Politik
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Frühwarnung, Bürgerkrieg, Risikoeinschätzung, Early warning, Prediction, Civil war, Neural networks, Logit regression, Risk assessment
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ISO 690ROST, Nicolas, Gerald SCHNEIDER, Johannes KLEIBL, 2009. A global risk assessment model for civil wars. In: Social Science Research. 2009, 38(4), pp. 921-933. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2009.06.007
BibTex
@article{Rost2009globa-4095,
  year={2009},
  doi={10.1016/j.ssresearch.2009.06.007},
  title={A global risk assessment model for civil wars},
  number={4},
  volume={38},
  journal={Social Science Research},
  pages={921--933},
  author={Rost, Nicolas and Schneider, Gerald and Kleibl, Johannes}
}
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