Sofja Kovalevskaja-Preis: The Web as a Curse or Blessing? Ethnic Mobilization in the Information Age
- FB Politik- und Verwaltungswissenschaft
|(2016): Digital discrimination : Political bias in Internet service provision across ethnic groups Science. 2016, 353(6304), pp. 1151-1155. ISSN 0036-8075. eISSN 1095-9203. Available under: doi: 10.1126/science.aaf5062
The global expansion of the Internet is frequently associated with increased government transparency, political rights, and democracy. However, this assumption depends on marginalized groups getting access in the first place. Here we document a strong and persistent political bias in the allocation of Internet coverage across ethnic groups worldwide. Using estimates of Internet penetration obtained through network measurements, we show that politically excluded groups suffer from significantly lower Internet penetration rates compared with those in power, an effect that cannot be explained by economic or geographic factors. Our findings underline one of the central impediments to "liberation technology," which is that governments still play a key role in the allocation of the Internet and can, intentionally or not, sabotage its liberating effects.
|(2015): Improving the selection of news reports for event coding using ensemble classification Research and Politics. 2015, 2(4). eISSN 2053-1680. Available under: doi: 10.1177/2053168015615596
Manual coding of political events from news reports is extremely expensive and time-consuming, whereas completely automatic coding has limitations when it comes to the precision and granularity of the data collected. In this paper, we introduce an alternative strategy by establishing a semi-automatic pipeline, where an automatic classification system eliminates irrelevant source material before further coding is done by humans. Our pipeline relies on a high-performance supervised heterogeneous ensemble classifier working on extremely unbalanced training classes. Deployed to the Mass Mobilization on Autocracies database on protest, the system is able to reduce the number of source articles to be human-coded by more than half, while keeping over 90% of the relevant material.
|(2015): Measuring the Ambivalence of Religion : Introducing the Religion and Conflict in Developing Countries (RCDC) Dataset International Interactions : Empirical and Theoretical Research in International Relations. 2015, 41(5), pp. 857-881. ISSN 0305-0629. eISSN 1547-7444. Available under: doi: 10.1080/03050629.2015.1048855
Measuring the Ambivalence of Religion : Introducing the Religion and Conflict in Developing Countries (RCDC) Dataset
Despite ample anecdotal evidence, previous research on violent conflict has found little evidence that religion is an important factor in organized violence. Quantitative work in this area has been largely confined to the interreligious character of conflict and measures of religious diversity, and has strongly neglected the peace aspect of religion. The Religion and Conflict in Developing Countries (RCDC) dataset helps to fill this gap with innovative and fine-grained data for 130 developing countries between 1990 and 2010. RCDC includes four types of religious violence (assaults on religious targets, attacks by religious actors, clashes between religious communities, and clashes with the state). In addition, RCDC contains data on interreligious networks and peace initiatives. This article demonstrates the usefulness of RCDC by applying our data to a preliminary analysis. The results indicate that interreligious networks are a reaction to identity overlaps and previous interreligious conflict.
|(2014): Micro-level studies NEWMAN, Edward, ed. and others. Routledge handbook of civil wars. London: Routledge, 2014, pp. 67-78. ISBN 978-0-415-62258-5. Available under: doi: 10.4324/9780203105962-7
For many social phenomena at the macro-level, the mechanisms that generate them rely to a great extent on individuals and interactions at the micro-level. What Coleman (1990) formulated in his famous “bathtub” model has become a widespread perspective across many areas of social science research. While many would acknowledge the existence of these micro-mechanisms, and sometimes make them part of their theoretical frameworks, until a few years ago there have been few attempts to scrutinize them empirically. The need to do so has given rise to a new research field, the micro study of civil war, which has seen a tremendous growth in recent years. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of this research field, the questions it addresses, the methods and data it employs, and the results it has generated. At the same time, the chapter seeks to identify the shortcomings and gaps that will spur future work in this area.
|(2013): Violence and Ethnic Segregation : a computational model applied to Baghdad International Studies Quarterly. 2013, 57(1), pp. 52-64. ISSN 0020-8833. eISSN 1468-2478. Available under: doi: 10.1111/isqu.12059
The implementation of the US military surge in Iraq coincided with a significant reduction in ethnic violence. Two explanations have been proposed for this result: The first is that the troop surge worked by increasing counterinsurgent capacity, whereas the second argument is that ethnic unmixing and the establishment of relatively homogenous enclaves were responsible for declining violence in Baghdad through reducing contact. We address this question using an agent-based model that is built on GIS-coded data on violence and ethnic composition in Baghdad. While we cannot fully resolve the debate about the effectiveness of the surge, our model shows that patterns of violence and segregation in Baghdad are consistent with a simple mechanism of ethnically motivated attacks and subsequent migration. Our modeling exercise also informs current debates about the effectiveness of counterinsurgency operations. We implement a simple policing mechanism in our model and show that even small levels of policing can dramatically mitigate subsequent levels of violence. However, our results also show that the timing of these efforts is crucial; early responses to ethnic violence are highly effective, but quickly lose impact as their implementation is delayed.
|Alexander v. Humboldt-Stiftung
|01.10.2012 – 30.09.2017