IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Advanced Mathematical Science of Ethnic Violence


  • Dion Harmon

    (New England Complex Systems Institute, USA)

  • May T. Lim

    (New England Complex Systems Institute, USA)

  • Yaneer Bar-Yam

    (New England Complex Systems Institute, USA,


Advancing peace and conflict studies into a quantitative science requires advanced mathematical methods and concepts. Lim, Metzler and Bar-Yam (2007, “LMB†) provide a wavelet based method for predicting the location of violence in a country based upon the hypothesis that well mixed or well separated groups do not engage in violence, but intermediate sized groups without clear boundaries between them do. Wiedmann and Toft (2010, “WT†) consider the remarkable quantitative success of LMB and question whether the methods used correctly evaluate their effectiveness. Here we provide some additional tests to address questions raised by WT. We confirm the quantitative success of LMB. Moreover, despite claiming to criticize LMB’s policy implications that suggest the separation of groups as a method of promoting peace, WT affirm that homogenous populations are not susceptible to violence. WT’s statement itself could be used to motivate a policy of separation. In contrast, LMB provide scientific precision that can guide policy makers in a choice of policy options in terms of geographical distributions and political boundaries, or the alternative of promoting the mixing of ethnic populations. Here we point to additional scientific support for the key policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Dion Harmon & May T. Lim & Yaneer Bar-Yam, 2010. "Advanced Mathematical Science of Ethnic Violence," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 27(2), pages 177-185, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:27:y:2010:i:2:p:177-185

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel G. Arce M. & Todd Sandler, 2005. "Counterterrorism," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(2), pages 183-200, April.
    2. B. Peter Rosendorff & Todd Sandler, 2004. "Too Much of a Good Thing?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 48(5), pages 657-671, October.
    3. Carlos Pestana Barros, 2003. "An intervention analysis of terrorism: The spanish eta case," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(6), pages 401-412.
    4. Drakos, Konstantinos & Kutan, Ali M., 2001. "Regional effects of terrorism on tourism: Evidence from three Mediterranean countries," ZEI Working Papers B 26-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    5. Carlos Pestana Barros & Luis Gil-Alana, 2006. "Eta: A Persistent Phenomenon," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 95-116.
    6. Joao Ricardo Faria & Daniel Arce, 2005. "Terror Support And Recruitment," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 263-273.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    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:sae:compsc:v:27:y:2010:i:2:p:177-185. 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: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.