Measuring Temporal Dimensions of the Intensity of Violent Political Conflict

Ofir D. Rubin*, Rico Ihle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


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
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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


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