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Representing ethnic groups in space: A new dataset

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Author Info

  • Nils B. Weidmann

    ()
    (Center for Comparative and International Studies, ETH Zurich)

  • Jan Ketil Roslashd

    (Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology & Centre for the Study of Civil War, PRIO)

  • Lars-Erik Cederman

    (Center for Comparative and International Studies, ETH Zurich)

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    Abstract

    Whether qualitative or quantitative, contemporary civil-war studies have a tendency to over-aggregate empirical evidence. In order to open the black box of the state, it is necessary to pinpoint the location of key conflict parties. As a contribution to this task, this article describes a data project that geo-references ethnic groups around the world. Relying on maps and data drawn from the classical Soviet Atlas Narodov Mira (ANM), the `Geo-referencing of ethnic groups' (GREG) dataset employs geographic information systems (GIS) to represent group territories as polygons. This article introduces the structure of the GREG dataset and gives an example for its application by examining the impact of group concentration on conflict. In line with previous findings, the authors show that groups with a single territorial cluster according to GREG have a significantly higher risk of conflict. This example demonstrates how the GREG dataset can be processed in the R statistical package without specific skills in GIS. The authors also provide a detailed discussion of the shortcomings of the GREG dataset, resulting from the datedness of the ANM and its unclear coding conventions. In comparing GREG to other datasets on ethnicity, the article makes an attempt to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses associated with the GREG database.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Peace Research Institute Oslo in its journal Journal of Peace Research.

    Volume (Year): 47 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 491-499

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:47:y:2010:i:4:p:491-499

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    Web page: http://www.prio.no/

    Related research

    Keywords: ethnic conflict; ethnic groups; geographic information systems; group settlement patterns;

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    Cited by:
    1. Bosker, Maarten & de Ree, Joppe, 2014. "Ethnicity and the spread of civil war," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 206-221.
    2. Joan Esteban & Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Strategic mass killings," IEW - Working Papers 486, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2012. "Seeds of Distrust: Conflict in Uganda," OxCarre Working Papers 078, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    4. Philipp Kolo, 2011. "Questioning Ethnic Fragmentation's Exogeneity - Drivers of Changing Ethnic Boundaries," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 210, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Philipp Kolo, 2012. "Measuring a New Aspect of Ethnicity - The Appropriate Diversity Index," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 221, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Sakamoto, Takuto, 2013. "Conflict Analysis in Virtual States (CAVS): A New Experimental Method Based on the Extensive Use of Multi-Agent Simulation (MAS) and Geographical Information System (GIS)," Working Papers 56, JICA Research Institute.

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