Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1531942
 
 

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A Global Model for Forecasting Political Instability


Jack A. Goldstone


George Mason University - School of Public Policy; RANEPA (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)

Robert Bates


Harvard University - Department of Government

David Epstein


Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Ted Robert Gurr


Independent

Michael B. Lustik


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Monty G. Marshall


George Mason University, School of Public Policy

Jay Ulfelder


Independent

Mark Woodward


affiliation not provided to SSRN

January 5, 2010

American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 54, No. 1, pp. 190-208, January 2010
GMU School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 2010-09

Abstract:     
Examining onsets of political instability in countries worldwide from 1955 to 2003, we develop a model that distinguishes countries that experienced instability from those that remained stable with a two-year lead time and over 80% accuracy. Intriguingly, the model uses few variables and a simple specification. The model is accurate in forecasting the onsets of both violent civil wars and nonviolent democratic reversals, suggesting common factors in both types of change. Whereas regime type is typically measured using linear or binary indicators of democracy/ autocracy derived from the 21-point Polity scale, the model uses a nonlinear five-category measure of regime type based on the Polity components. This new measure of regime type emerges as the most powerful predictor of instability onsets, leading us to conclude that political institutions,properly specified, and not economic conditions, demography, or geography, are the most important predictors of the onset of political instability.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: Forecasting, Instability, Revolution, Civil War, Democracy, Regimes

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Date posted: January 6, 2010 ; Last revised: April 20, 2010

Suggested Citation

Goldstone, Jack A. and Bates, Robert and Epstein, David and Gurr, Ted Robert and Lustik, Michael B. and Marshall, Monty G. and Ulfelder, Jay and Woodward, Mark, A Global Model for Forecasting Political Instability (January 5, 2010). American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 54, No. 1, pp. 190-208, January 2010; GMU School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 2010-09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1531942

Contact Information

Jack A. Goldstone (Contact Author)
George Mason University - School of Public Policy ( email )
3401 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

RANEPA (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration) ( email )
Vernadskogo Prospect 82
Moscow, 119571
Russia
HOME PAGE: http://ranepa.com
Robert Bates
Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-0919 (Phone)
617-496-6849 (Fax)
David Lester Epstein
Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )
420 West 118th Street
719 International Affairs Building
New York, NY 10027
United States
(212) 854-7566 (Phone)
(212) 222-0598 (Fax)
Ted Robert Gurr
Independent ( email )
Michael B. Lustik
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Monty G. Marshall
George Mason University, School of Public Policy ( email )
3351 Fairfax Dr
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
HOME PAGE: http://globalpolicy.gmu.edu
Jay Ulfelder
Independent ( email )
No Address Available
United States
Mark Woodward
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


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