“SCAD is rad” is the new “ice is nice”

As of now, scaddata.org is live and open for your perusal. My colleague and friend Idean Salehyan, our excellent research team (Christina Case, Chris Linebarger, Emily Stull, and Jennifer Williams) and I have been working for almost two years to develop SCAD: Social Conflict in Africa Data. SCAD is part of the Robert Strauss Center’s Program on Climate Change and African Political Stability.

The Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD) is a resource for conducting research and analysis on various forms of social and political unrest in Africa. It includes over 6,000 social conflict events across Africa from 1990 to 2009, including riots, strikes, protests, coups, and communal violence. SCAD does not include civil and interstate conflicts. By tracking forms of conflict not covered in traditional datasets on civil and interstate war, SCAD gives policymakers and researchers new tools to analyze conflict patterns.

If I do say so myself, these data are very, very cool: event data covering the entire continent from 1990-2009, with annual updates and all sorts of goodies to come.

Special thanks for excellent research support, website construction, and georeferencing is due to Ashley Moran, Laura Jones, Kaiba White, and Sarah Williams at UT Austin. This was a monumental (and often thankless) undertaking, and we really appreciate all the work that went in to it.

Tell your friends, tell your enemies.

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Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) online

The new website for the CCAPS team is now online. Great work, Ashley and Elizabeth! From our team’s website:
“The Strauss Center’s program on Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) seeks to better understand the relationship between the growing threat of climate change and the ability of African countries to manage complex emergencies, including humanitarian disasters and violent conflict.  A collaborative research program among four institutions and led by The University of Texas, the CCAPS program aims to provide practical guidance for U.S. policymakers, enrich the current body of scholarly literature, and nurture a future generation of scholars and practitioners.
The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Minerva Initiative—a university-based, social science research program focused on areas of strategic importance to national security policy.”

Check it out here.

Climate change, rainfall, and social conflict in Africa

Idean’s and my new paper on rainfall and social conflict on Africa is now available at the Social Science Research Network. In it, we use a new dataset of over 6,000 social conflict events, ranging from peaceful protests to communal conflict and labor unrest, to demonstrate a robust relationship between rainfall patterns and political unrest in Africa. The paper was recently presented at the Climate Change and Security conference in Trondheim, Norway.