A new geography of civil war: a machine learning approach to measuring the zones of armed conflicts
Political Science Research and Methods, 2022, vol. 10, issue 1, 97-115
Where do armed conflicts occur? In applied studies, we may take ad hoc approaches to answer this question. In some regression studies, for instance, a single conflict event can cause an entire province to be classified as a conflict zone. In this paper, I fill this void of knowledge by developing a machine learning method that is less dependent on the areal-unit assumptions and can flexibly estimate conflict zones. I apply the method to a conflict event dataset and create a new dataset of conflict zones. A replication of Daskin and Pringle (2018, Nature 553, 328–332) with the new dataset indicates that the effect of civil war on mammal populations is much smaller than the original estimate.
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