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A Matter of Convenience: Challenges of Non-Random Data in Analyzing Human Rights Violations during Conflicts in Peru and Sierra Leone

Landman, T and Gohdes, A (2013) 'A Matter of Convenience: Challenges of Non-Random Data in Analyzing Human Rights Violations during Conflicts in Peru and Sierra Leone.' In: Seybolt, TB and Aronson, JD and Fischhoff, B, (eds.) Counting Civilian Casualties: An Introduction to Recording and Estimating Nonmilitary Deaths in Conflict. Oxford University Press, 77 - 92. ISBN 9780199977307

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Abstract

This chapter argues that reports of the experience of human rights violations and violence as an empirical record are likely to be biased (with selection bias often present), as well as incomplete and prone to significant measurement error. Two of the main fundamental errors are the underreporting of rights violations that have occurred and the overreporting of violations that have not. This chapter uses the cases of Peru and Sierra Leone to demonstrate how casualty reporting across different sources varies, inhibiting the ability to make valid statistical inferences. The implications drawn from this are twofold. When full enumerations or representative samples are not available, multiple sources of casualty records are vital to securing more accurate civilian casualty estimation. Nevertheless, limitations in the data available need to be translated into the conclusions that can be drawn about the contours of a conflict.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: human rights violations; civilian casualty estimation; Sierra Leone; Peru; underreporting; selection bias; measurement error
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2013 08:30
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:57
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7600

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