Predicting ethnic violence

Much to my surprise, a quantitative model built at New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) in Boston can predict where an ethnic violence may happen. The president of NECSI, Yaneer Bar-Yam, talked with Seed Magazine that their model was able to predict ethnic conflicts in India and former Yugoslavia with appreciable accuracy. This was a very interesting outcome. I am curious to learn whether the model can be applied to analyze the recent ethnic outbreaks in Tibet and Xinjiang. It is not certain to me whether the editor and Bar-Yam were aware of the Xinjiang riots when producing this piece.

This serves as another demonstration that science can provide a guide for policy making that might impact public and personal lives. The article can be downloaded from the institute’s website here.

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