Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Predicting political unrest

This is pretty cool. You gotta love statistics. Using 20 years of publicly available data from 150 nations, researchers at Kansas State University have developed a model to forecast civil unrest.

Named "The Predictive Societal Indicators of Radicalism Model of Domestic Political Violence Forecast", the model uses measures of coercion (motivation or fuel for the fire), coordination (ability of the populous to mobilize) and capacity (ability to dampen the intensity of protest) to predict which nations are likely to experience domestic civil unrest.

The article notes that they're 5 for 5 in their predictions so far, but considering what's happening in Egypt right now it looks like we can say they're 5 for 6. Notice the importance of Twitter. We'd categorize that under coordination.

Thanks to Ryan H. for the lead.


  1. This is really cool... seems like the omission of Egypt may indicate how important communication (coordination) really is. But if it holds a higher weight, there might be an increase in false positives.


  2. "Yesterday we were all Tunisian. Today we are all Egyptian. Tomorrow we'll all be free." This quote is wonderful. I got chill bumps when I read it!