Predicting Violent Civil Unrest Abroad

Scientists working on a project sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory now have a forecasting model that they claim can accurately predict civil unrest against foreign governments.

A team composed of academics at Kansas State University and New York's Binghamton University developed the Predictive Societal Indicators of Radicalism Model of Domestic Political Violence Forecast. The KSU/Binghamton plans to integrate their forecasting model into applications developed by Milcord, a firm that develops web and mobile applications for various government agencies.

One of the scientists behind the statistical model, Kansas State's Sam Bell, said that the methodology behind the project took into account events occurring in 150 states and variables associated with three factors: government coercion (such as fear of human rights violations); the ability of individuals to coordinate group actions (such as easy access to social media in Tunisia and Iran); and state capacity.