Wachstum und Veränderung im Zeichen der Digitalisierung

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PizzaSeminar am 12.01.2018: ´Crowd-seeding In Syria: Beyond Media-based conflict event data´

Für den Auftakt konnten wir Dr. Ghassan Baliki als Referenten gewinnen, zu dessen Vortrag ich Sie am Freitag, dem 12.01.2018, um 12 Uhr c.t. einlud. Sein Thema lautete:

´Crowd-seeding In Syria: Beyond Media-based conflict event data´

Zum Thema:

Dr. Ghassan Baliki discussed the quantitative research of violent political conflict. Despite the growing availability and use of conflict event datasets a number of analytical and conceptual challenges remain unresolved, particularly in regards the main sources of information which rely primarily on media (e.g., media outlets and press agencies). This poses a challenge on the quality of the data as media sources tend to be biased, particularly regarding warfare. To date there has been no rigorous empirical work that assess the extent of the media bias on conflict event data and its effect on its quality.

Baliki’s research addresses this gap by analyzing both the reporting and description bias on media outlets in Syria. By collecting information from 5 international and national news agencies for a randomly selected period of time, his approach shows that media outlets report less than 10% of the violent incidents that took place within the selected period. Moreover, there is also a significant bias by media source towards the actors reported and the geographic spread of the reported events. These findings stress the importance of shifting away from media-based event datasets.

In this direction, a new pilot dataset which uses an innovative approach to collect conflict event data from Syria, namely “Crowdseeding”, is introduced. By working directly with primary sources on the ground, we circumvented the use of media, and obtained day-to-day event data on violence and other political and peace actions taking place locally. These primary sources (or seeds) are formed from a well-trained selected team of civil society activists residing in various parts of Syria.

Dr. Ghassan Baliki is a Senior Researcher at ISDC - International Security and Development Center. He obtained his doctoral degree from Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, where he investigated the effect of media on conflict event data and the determinants of the spatial and temporal diffusion of violence in Syria. He is currently co-managing in collaboration with the London School of Economics (LSE) a project to collect conflict event data in Syria. He was previously a Marie Curie fellow with TAMNEAC (Training and Mobility Network for the economic Analysis of Conflict), a research associate at the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW), has worked with the EU Election Observation Mission of Lebanon as a media monitor and analyst, and as a Short-term Consultant with the World Bank.

His research interests include the analysis violent conflict (with focus on the Middle East), as well as topics related to fragility, deprivation, and democratization. His areas of expertise are quantitative statistical analysis and data collection and management.