Two new papers

Two new papers from the project are now available:

New Papers on Conflict Duration and on Sexual Violence

Two new papers using the Rebel Contraband Dataset have been accepted for publication:

Whitaker, Beth Elise, James Igoe Walsh, and Justin M. Conrad. Forthcoming. Natural Resource Exploitation and Sexual Violence by Rebel Groups. Journal of Politics.

Conrad, Justin M., Kevin T. Greene, James Igoe Walsh, and Beth Elise Whitaker. Forthcoming. Rebel Natural Resource Exploitation and Conflict Duration. Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Two new papers on resources, crime, and conflict

Two new papers have been published that address the relationships between natural resources, crime, and conflict:

Walsh, James Igoe, Justin Conrad, Beth Elise Whitaker, and Katelin Hudak. Forthcoming. Financing Rebellion: Introducing the Rebel Contraband Dataset. Journal of Peace Research.

Piazza, James A., and Scott Piazza. Forthcoming. Crime Pays: Terrorist Group Engagement in Crime and Survival. Terrorism and Political Violence.

Check out the publications page for more details.

Mordecai: Full Text Geoparsing and Event Geocoding

Andrew Halterman has published a paper describing Mordecai, his software for goesparsing and event coding. Details are at this link, and here is the summary of the paper:

Mordecai is a new full-text geoparsing system that extracts place names from text, resolves them to their correct entries in a gazetteer, and returns structured geographic information for the resolved place name. Geoparsing can be used in a number of tasks, including media monitoring, improved information extraction, document annotation for search, and geolocating text-derived event data, which is the task for which is was built. Mordecai was created to provide provide several features missing in existing geoparsers, including better handling of non-US place names, easy and portable setup and use though a Docker REST architecture, and easy customization with Python and swappable named entity recognition systems. Mordecai’s key technical innovations are in a language-agnostic architecture that uses word2vec (Mikolov et al. 2013) for inferring the correct country for a set of locations in a piece of text and easily changed named entity recognition models. As a gazetteer, it uses Geonames (Geonames 2016) in a custom-build Elasticsearch database.

Resources and Conflict at APSA

The Resources and Conflict team will be presenting two papers at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in Philadelphia next week. Authors and titles are below, contact us if you would like more information:

  • Kevin Greene, Justin Conrad, Beth Elise Whitaker, and James Igoe Walsh, “Rebel Natural Resource Exploitation and the Duration of Civil Wars”
  • Michael Findley, Daniel Strandow, Jean-Claude Thill, and James Igoe Walsh, “Territorial Control and Violence Against Civilians During Civil Wars”

Policy Briefs on Natural Resources and Violent Conflict

What are the links between natural resource wealth and civil conflict? Do civil war combatants view areas with natural resources as valuable prizes worth fighting over? How do combatants treat civilians that live near or work at natural resource sites? Researchers have had difficulty addressing these questions systematically due to a lack of high-quality data. With support from the Minerva Research Initiative, Innovations for Peace and Development at the University of Texas has spent the past couple of years painstakingly collecting geo-coded data on natural resource locations across Latin America, Africa, and Asia. They have now used this data to write a series of policy papers analyzing the links between natural resource locations and violent conflict in Central Africa, Algeria, and Egypt. Head over to the project’s policy papers page to check out summaries and to find links to the briefs.