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Advanced Mathematical Science of Ethnic Violence

Listed author(s):
  • 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,

Registered author(s):

    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.

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    Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Conflict Management and Peace Science.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 177-185

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:compsc:v:27:y:2010:i:2:p:177-185
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