24 November 2014

Investigating Targets of Social Conflict Events Using Newly Expanded Social Conflict Analysis Database

The Social Conflict Analysis Database (SCAD) includes protests, riots, strikes, inter-communal conflict, government violence against civilians, and other forms of social conflict not systematically tracked in other conflict datasets. The dataset has recently been expanded both in terms of the timeframe and location of events. Conflict events from 2013 have now been added, meaning the database includes events running from 1990-2013. In addition, the database now includes conflict events for all of Africa as well as thirteen countries in Latin America, in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. These new locations have been added to enable cross-comparisons across regions. 

In CCAPS Research Brief No. 23, Idean Salehyan and Brandon Stewart tackle the question of why dissidents target the government at some times, yet at other times target other actors in society. Better understanding of where dissidents are likely to target their frustrations can help policy makers to better address grievances among the population. The authors find that "protests about economic issues such as unemployment and inflation are more likely to target the states" whereas "protests about ethnic issues are less likely to target the state as ethnic diversity increases."

The brief uses data from the newly expanded Social Conflict Analysis Database (SCAD), which tracks social conflicts from 1990-2013, and now covers all of Africa as well as thirteen countries in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.


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