Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in…

Paperback | June 15, 2013

EditorTaylor B. Seybolt, Jay D. Aronson, Baruch Fischhoff

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A popular myth emerged in the late 1990s: in 1900, wars killed one civilian for every eight soldiers, while contemporary wars were killing eight civilians for every one soldier. The neat reversal of numbers was memorable, and academic publications and UN documents regularly cited it. The moreit was cited, the more trusted it became. In fact, however, subsequent research found no empirical evidence for the idea that the ratio of civilians to soldiers killed in war has changed dramatically. But while the ratios may not have changed, the political significance of civilian casualties hasrisen tremendously.Over the past century, civilians in war have gone from having no particular rights to having legal protections and rights that begin to rival those accorded to states. The concern for civilians in conflict has become so strong that governments occasionally undertake humanitarian interventions, atgreat risk and substantial cost, to protect strangers in distant lands. In the early 1990s, the UN Security Council authorized military interventions to help feed and protect civilians in the Kurdish area of Iraq, Somalia, and Bosnia. And in May 2011, Barack Obama 's National Security Advisorexplained the United States' decision to support NATO's military intervention in these terms "When the president made this decision, there was an immediate threat to 700,000 Libyan civilians in the town of Benghazi. We've had a success here in terms of being able to protect those civilians."Counting Civilian Casualties aims to promote open scientific dialogue by high lighting the strengths and weaknesses of the most commonly used casualty recording and estimation techniques in an understandable format. Its thirteen chapters, each authoritative but accessible to nonspecialists, explorea variety of approaches, from direct recording to statistical estimation and sampling, to collecting data on civilian deaths caused by conflict. The contributors also discuss their respective advantages and disadvantages, and analyze how figures are used (and misused) by governments, rebels, humanrights advocates, war crimes tribunals, and others. In addition to providing analysts with a broad range of tools to produce accurate data, this will be an in valuable resource for policymakers, military officials, journalists, human rights activists, courts, and ordinary people who want to be moreinformed - and skeptical - consumers of casualty counts.

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A popular myth emerged in the late 1990s: in 1900, wars killed one civilian for every eight soldiers, while contemporary wars were killing eight civilians for every one soldier. The neat reversal of numbers was memorable, and academic publications and UN documents regularly cited it. The moreit was cited, the more trusted it became. In...

Taylor B. Seybolt is Assistant Professor of International and Human Security in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh and author of Humanitarian Military Intervention: the Conditions for Success and Failure (Oxford, 2007). Jay D. Aronson is Associate Professor of Science, Technology, a...

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Hardcover|Apr 7 2016

$209.72 online$213.95list price
Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:June 15, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199977313

ISBN - 13:9780199977314

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Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgmentsContributorsGlossaryPart I Who Counts?1. Taylor B. Seybolt, Jay D. Aronson, and Baruch Fischhoff: Introduction2. Taylor B. Seybolt: Significant Numbers: Civilian Casualties and Strategic Peacebuilding3. Jay D. Aronson: The Politics of Civilian Casualty CountsPart II Recording Violence: Incident-Based Data4. John Sloboda, Hamit Dardagan, Michael Spagat, and Madelyn Hsiao-Rei Hicks: Iraq Body Count: A Case Study in the Uses of Incident-based Conflict Casualty Data Aggregate Conflict Casualty Data5. Todd Landman and Anita Gohdes: A Matter of Convenience: Challenges of Non-Random Data in Analyzing Human Rights Violations in Peru and Sierra LeonePart III Estimating Violence: Surveys6. Jana Asher: Using Surveys to Estimate Casualties Post-Conflict: Developments for the Developing World7. Meghan Foster Lynch: Collecting Data on Violence: Scientific Challenges and Ethnographic SolutionsPart IV Estimating Violence: Multiple-Systems Estimation8. Jeff Klingner and Romesh Silva: Combining Found Data and Surveys to Measure Conflict Mortality9. Daniel Manrique-Vallier, Megan E. Price, and Anita Gohdes: Multiple-Systems Estimation Techniques for Estimating Casualties in Armed ConflictsPart V Mixed Methods10. Nicholas P. Jewell, Michael Spagat, and Britta L. Jewell: MSE and Casualty Counts: Assumptions, Interpretation, and Challenges11. Ewa Tabeau and Jan Zwierzchowski: A Review of Estimation Methods for Victims of the Bosnian War and the Khmer Rouge RegimePart VI The Complexity of Casualty Numbers12. Jule Kroger, Patrick Ball, Megan Price, and Amelia Hoover Green: It Doesn't Add Up: Methodological and Policy Implications of Conflicting Casualty Data13. Keith Krause: Challenges to Counting and Classifying Victims of Violence in Conflict, Post-Conflict, and Non-Conflict SettingsPart VII Conclusion14. Jay D. Aronson, Baruch Fischhoff, and Taylor B. Seybolt: Moving toward More Accurate Casualty CountsIndex