IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/cup/apsrev/v112y2018i02p358-375_00.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Reading Between the Lines: Prediction of Political Violence Using Newspaper Text

Author

Listed:
  • MUELLER, HANNES
  • RAUH, CHRISTOPHER

Abstract

This article provides a new methodology to predict armed conflict by using newspaper text. Through machine learning, vast quantities of newspaper text are reduced to interpretable topics. We propose the use of the within-country variation of these topics to predict the timing of conflict. This allows us to avoid the tendency of predicting conflict only in countries where it occurred before. We show that the within-country variation of topics is an extremely robust predictor of conflict and becomes particularly useful when new conflict risks arise. Two aspects seem to be responsible for these features. Topics provide depth because they consist of changing, long lists of terms which makes them able to capture the changing context of conflict. At the same time topics provide width because they summarize all text, including coverage of stabilizing factors.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Mueller, Hannes & Rauh, Christopher, 2018. "Reading Between the Lines: Prediction of Political Violence Using Newspaper Text," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 112(02), pages 358-375, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:112:y:2018:i:02:p:358-375_00
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0003055417000570
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hannes Mueller, 2016. "Growth and Violence: Argument for a Per Capita Measure of Civil War," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(331), pages 473-497, July.
    2. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9624, March.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:75-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:133:y:2018:i:2:p:801-870. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:108:y:2014:i:01:p:100-120_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon & Andrea Prat, 2018. "Transparency and Deliberation Within the FOMC: A Computational Linguistics Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(2), pages 801-870.
    7. repec:wly:amposc:v:54:y:2010:i:1:p:190-208 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:104:y:2010:i:03:p:415-429_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Thomas Chadefaux, 2014. "Early warning signals for war in the news," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 51(1), pages 5-18, January.
    10. Alexandre Belloni & Victor Chernozhukov & Christian Hansen, 2011. "Inference for high-dimensional sparse econometric models," CeMMAP working papers CWP41/11, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    11. Therése Pettersson & Peter Wallensteen, 2015. "Armed conflicts, 1946–2014," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 52(4), pages 536-550, July.
    12. repec:sae:joupea:v:54:y:2017:i:2:p:175-192 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:sae:joupea:v:54:y:2017:i:2:p:275-297 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:sae:joupea:v:54:y:2017:i:2:p:313-327 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Nils Petter Gleditsch & Peter Wallensteen & Mikael Eriksson & Margareta Sollenberg & Hã…Vard Strand, 2002. "Armed Conflict 1946-2001: A New Dataset," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 39(5), pages 615-637, September.
    16. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2012. "Temperature Shocks and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Last Half Century," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 66-95, July.
    17. Patrick T. Brandt & John R. Freeman & Philip A. Schrodt, 2011. "Real Time, Time Series Forecasting of Inter- and Intra-State Political Conflict," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 28(1), pages 41-64, February.
    18. H. Buhaug & J. Nordkvelle & T. Bernauer & T. Böhmelt & M. Brzoska & J. Busby & A. Ciccone & H. Fjelde & E. Gartzke & N. Gleditsch & J. Goldstone & H. Hegre & H. Holtermann & V. Koubi & J. Link & P. Li, 2014. "One effect to rule them all? A comment on climate and conflict," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 391-397, December.
    19. Ilyana Kuziemko & Eric Werker, 2006. "How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 905-930, October.
    20. Li, Quan & Reuveny, Rafael, 2003. "Economic Globalization and Democracy: An Empirical Analysis," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(01), pages 29-54, January.
    21. repec:wly:amposc:v:54:y:2010:i:1:p:209-228 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Toke S. Aidt, Facundo Albornoz, Esther Hauk & Facundo Albornoz & Esther Hauk, 2019. "Foreign in influence and domestic policy: A survey," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1928, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Mueller, Hannes Felix & Rauh, Christopher, 2019. "The Hard Problem of Prediction for Conflict Prevention," CEPR Discussion Papers 13748, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Rodriguez-Lopez, Jesus & Solis-Garcia, Mario, 2018. "Defense spending and fiscal multipliers: it's all in the variance," MPRA Paper 86911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Toke S. Aidt & Facundo Albornoz & Esther Hauk, 2019. "Foreign influence and domestic policy," Discussion Papers 2019-03, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    5. Bazzi, Samuel & Blair, Robert & Blattman, Christopher & Dube, Oeindrila & Gudgeon, Matthew & Peck, Richard, 2019. "The Promise and Pitfalls of Conflict Prediction: Evidence from Colombia and Indonesia," CEPR Discussion Papers 13829, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:112:y:2018:i:02:p:358-375_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: https://journals.cambridge.org/jid_PSR .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.