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Title: An economic analysis of human costs in armed conflicts
Author: Lee, Uih Ran
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis seeks to analyse military and civilian loss from violence during contemporary armed conflict in order to facilitate understanding of the evolution of war and its impact on human behaviour. It comprises four chapters; the first two concentrate on the 2033 Iraq War whilst the last two are focused upon global armed conflict during the recent past. Chapter 1 explores how and to what extent military deaths during the Iraq war affect US domestic opinion, proxied by various poll questions concerning war-related issues. Having addressed irregular frequencies of poll data that restrict time series application, this chapter renders a fresh perspective on casualty-opinion research, suggesting that cumulative military casualties prior to the poll did not have an immediate effect on the poll respondents' opinion regarding the continuation of military actions in Iraq, Instead, respondents are influenced by marginal casualty information from the previous time period, implying a slow adjustment in forming opinion through the Error Correction Mechanism (ECM). Chapter 2 presents a comparative analysis to gauge any different standards between the US department of Defense and the media in counting violent civilian deaths during the Iraq war. In spite of substantial discrepancies during the initial period of the war, non-parametric tests corroborate that the US military authority and media reports had a non-differential approach towards counting violent civilian deaths during the war period across the spatial and spatiotemporal dimensions. However, the conspicuously conservative count by the US military authority during the initial stage of the war may have hindered the US forces' ability to predict and prepare for the subsequent escalation of violence that brought about large-scale human loss as well as the prolongation of the war which lasted more than 7 years. Chapter 3 analyses to what extent warring actors intentionally used lethal force against civilians, through the employment of a Civilian Targeting Index (CTI), a newly invented measure to indicate the intensity of civilian targeting for each actor. Building upon Chapter 3, Chapter 4 further examines factors that lead to warring actors targeting civilians as opposed to engaging in battle with war combatants. A dynamic panel approach shows that an increase in the degree of civilian targeting in the previous year further intensified civilian targeting in the current year for the actors involved in prolonged armed conflict.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CONFLICT ; War ; Iraq war ; public opinion ; Casualties ; fatalities