ViEWS: A political Violence Early-Warning System

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Hegre, Håvard; Marie Allansson; Matthias Basedau; Michael Colaresi; Mihai Croicu; Hanne Fjelde; Frederick Hoyles; Lisa Hultman; Stina Högbladh; Remco Jansen; Naima Mouhleb; Sayyed Auwn Muhammad; Desirée Nilsson; Håvard Mokleiv Nygård; Gudlaug Olafsdottir; Kristina Petrova; David Randahl; Espen Geelmuyden Rød; Gerald Schneider; Nina von Uexkull & Jonas Vestby (2019) ViEWS: A political Violence Early-Warning System, Journal of Peace Research 56(2): 155–174.

This article presents ViEWS – a political violence early-warning system that seeks to be maximally transparent, publicly available, and have uniform coverage, and sketches the methodological innovations required to achieve these objectives. ViEWS produces monthly forecasts at the country and subnational level for 36 months into the future and all three UCDP types of organized violence: state-based conflict, non-state conflict, and one-sided violence in Africa. The article presents the methodology and data behind these forecasts, evaluates their predictive performance, provides selected forecasts for October 2018 through October 2021, and indicates future extensions. ViEWS is built as an ensemble of constituent models designed to optimize its predictions. Each of these represents a theme that the conflict research literature suggests is relevant, or implements a specific statistical/machine-learning approach. Current forecasts indicate a persistence of conflict in regions in Africa with a recent history of political violence but also alert to new conflicts such as in Southern Cameroon and Northern Mozambique. The subsequent evaluation additionally shows that ViEWS is able to accurately capture the long-term behavior of established political violence, as well as diffusion processes such as the spread of violence in Cameroon. The performance demonstrated here indicates that ViEWS can be a useful complement to non-public conflict-warning systems, and also serves as a reference against which future improvements can be evaluated.

Read the article here (Open Access)

Authors

Håvard Hegre

Håvard Hegre

Research Professor

Matthias Basedau

Matthias Basedau

Guest Researcher

Michael Colaresi

Michael Colaresi

Associate Professor, Michigan State University

Hanne Fjelde

Hanne Fjelde

Senior Researcher

Naima Mouhleb

Naima Mouhleb

Researcher & Research Assistant

Desirée Nilsson

Desirée Nilsson

Guest Researcher/Lecturer, Uppsala University

Håvard Mokleiv Nygård

Håvard Mokleiv Nygård

Research Professor

Espen Geelmuyden Rød

Espen Geelmuyden Rød

Senior Researcher

Gerald Schneider

Gerald Schneider

Professor of Political Science and Dean, Department of Politics and Management, University of Konstanz

Nina von Uexkull

Nina von Uexkull

Associate Senior Researcher

Jonas Vestby

Jonas Vestby

Senior Researcher

Research Groups