"Turning points" in the Iraq conflict: Reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo in political science

Arthur Spirling

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We consider and explore structural breaks in a day-by-day time series of civilian casualties for the current Iraq conflict: an undertaking of potential interest to scholars of international relations, comparative politics, and American politics. We review Bayesian change-point techniques already used by political methodologists before advocating and briefly describing the use of reversible-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques to solve the estimation problem at hand. We find evidence of four change points, all associated with increasing violence, approximately contemporaneous with some important state building events. We conclude with a discussion of avenues for future research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)315-320
    Number of pages6
    JournalAmerican Statistician
    Volume61
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 2007

    Keywords

    • Change points
    • Political methodology
    • Sectarian violence

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Statistics and Probability
    • Mathematics(all)
    • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty

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