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article imageDomestic political violence predicted in 37 countries by 2014

By Subir Ghosh     Jan 21, 2011 in World
The next three years may see domestic political violence in as many as 37 countries, according to a model that has accurately predicted recent unrest in five countries so far.
The model, named the Predictive Societal Indicators of Radicalism Model of Domestic Political Violence Forecast, has successfully predicted civil unrest in Peru, Ireland, Ecuador, Italy and most recently, Tunisia.
According to a press release issued by Kansas State University, the creators of the model are predicting civil unrest against governments in 37 countries. Iran tops the list.
The PSIR Model of Domestic Political Violence has been created by Prof David Cingranelli at the Political Science Department, SUNY Binghamton University, and Profs Sam Bell and Amanda Murdie at the Department of Political Science, Kansas State University. The model enables policymakers to proactively plan for instances of increased domestic political violence, with implications for resource allocation and intelligence asset assignment.
Murdie said in the statement, "What's interesting is that while our model predicts violence in countries like Honduras and Iran, it's also predicting it in western democracies. For example, our model predicted violence in Ireland. That happened recently due to the International Monetary Fund bailout."
The model, which was officially launched on December 1, 20101, uses nuanced measures of repression, captures variables that can be manipulated by policy makers such as those relating to not only intent but capability for violence, making the model relevant for the policy community. The model uses datasets for political event coding, apart from numerous indicators other human rights and economic datasets.
Among the major datasets that the model uses is the Cingranelli-Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Dataset, which contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for 15 internationally recognised human rights for 195 countries, annually from 1981-2009.
It usually predicts that nation states that are predisposed to increasing levels of violence based on the presence of environmental conditions and drivers of conflict with demonstrated correlation with measured political violence. Three elements are called in when predicting political violence: coercion, coordination and capacity.
The best way of tackling political violence for a government is to curb its own human rights abuses. Murdie said, "That was one of the biggest findings from our model: that adhering to basic human rights limits the political violence. 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 mobilisation effect where people take to the streets."
The forecast as a ranked list:
1. Iran; 2. Sri Lanka; 3. Russia; 4. Georgia; 5. Israel; 6. Turkey; 7. Burundi; 8. Chad; 9. Honduras; 10. Czech Republic; 11. China; 12. Italy; 13. Colombia; 14. Ukraine; 15. Indonesia; 16. Malaysia; 17. Jordan; 18. Mexico; 19. Kenya; 20. South Africa; 21. Ireland; 22. Peru; 23. Chile; 24. Armenia; 25. Tunisia; 26. Democratic Republic of the Congo; 27. Belarus; 28. Argentina; 29. Albania; 30. Ecuador; 31. Sudan; 32. Austria; 33. Nigeria; 34. Syria; 35. Kyrgyz Republic; 36. Egypt; 37. Belgium
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