Measuring Temporal Dimensions of the Intensity of Violent Political Conflict

Ofir D. Rubin, Rico Ihle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Violent political conflict shows patterns of varied intensity and persistence. These patterns may induce changes in human behavior in various temporal dimensions. In order to study these effects, empirical research needs a suitable way to measure conflict intensity. This paper suggests and illustrates a method of aggregating raw data on violence incidence into complementary temporal categories, in order to enrich empirical insights. We construct short-, medium-, and long-term measures based on daily fatality counts in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict between 1997 and 2011. We show that these dimensions, although constructed from the same set of raw data, contain complementary information since they are only weakly correlated. As an example, we illustrate how several such categories can be useful in modeling the dynamics of food prices. This demonstrates that such aggregations provide complementary temporal perspectives. They therefore can potentially enrich the analysis of the effects of conflict on human behavior beyond commonly employed measurements of daily or yearly frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-642
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Conflict intensity
  • Conflict measurement
  • Data aggregation
  • Fatalities
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Political violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (all)


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