This article first appeared on The Cipher Brief website.
Why has Russia under President Vladimir Putin remained fairly stable despite worsening economic conditions? Is Zimbabwe likely to become embroiled in conflict when its 92-year old dictator, President Robert Mugabe, passes on?
Political upheavals like civil wars, military coups, and total state collapse are hard to predict but have massive implications for security professionals and countries around the world.
For decades, political scientists have used data-driven models to determine what, if any, similarities are shared by various state crises across time and space. Two tools often used by experts are the Political Instability Task Force’s model of political instability, which seeks to understand and predict future internal violent conflicts, and the Fragile States Index, a data set that provides policymakers with quantitative analysis of the fragility of states around the world…
Image: Free Syrian Army soldier walking among rubble in Aleppo. (Wikimedia Commons)
Brian Garrett-Glaser is the Content Manager for The Cipher Brief.