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Title: Quantifying the dynamics of conflict : distance, terrian, maps, GIS and their relationship with war
Author: Pickering, Steven
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 9184
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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For as long as war has been studied, geographical factors associated with it have also been analysed. Yet there are numerous issues with existing work, from theoretical, methodological and technical perspectives. This thesis addresses these gaps in several ways. It presents a comprehensive new distance dataset and in so doing is able to demonstrate that minimum distance is the most useful measure of distance to conflict research. Novel types of distance measurement are also presented which shed new light on the relationship between distance and conflict. Additionally, a complete new set of digital maps is developed upon which the distance dataset is based. In order to create these maps, it critically engages with the use of maps in IR theory and conflict research, finding the spread of the Westphalian state around the world is intimately related to the spread of the "political," and, most recently, computer-generated map. The thesis finds issues with existing terrain-based analyses depending theoretically on romanticised, deterministic stereotypes of "mountain people," and more technically on state-aggregated mountain binaries. It goes on to develop a new method of determining the ruggedness of both states and conflict zones. It finds that there is a strong relationship between terrain and conflict, contradicting some previous research. The thesis also demonstrates that ruggedness is an important factor in the location of conflicts which, when combined with data on the location of state borders and capital cities, offers valuable new insights into the geography of conflict.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available