Regions at Risk: Predicting Conflict Zones in African Insurgencies

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Schutte, Sebastian (2017) Regions at Risk: Predicting Conflict Zones in African Insurgencies, Political Science Research and Methods 5(3): 447–465.

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​A method for predicting conflict zones in civil wars based on point process models is presented in this paper. Instead of testing the validity of specific theoretical conjectures about the determinants of violence in a causal framework, this paper builds on classic literature and a wide body of recent studies to predict conflict zones based on a series of geographic conditions. Using an innovative cross-validation design, the study shows that the quantitative research program on the micro-foundations of violence in civil conflict has crafted generalizable insights permitting out-of-sample predictions of conflict zones. The study region is delimited to ten countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that experienced full-blown insurgencies in the post-Cold War era.

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