Modeling the Social and Spatial Networks of Violent Extremist Organizations in Syria and Iraq
University of Idaho Seed Grant
Over the last decades, new forms of organized political violence have emerged as non-state Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs) are now the predominant type of political actor in many regions around the world. The nature of VEO-driven conflicts is characterized by VEO partnerships with other VEOs and by a high level of transnational activity which pose challenges to the quantitative modeling of conflict in social science. This proposal requests funding support develop a new dataset that models both social network and spatial aspects of the war to better understand the dynamics of VEO-driven conflicts. Building on the PI’s work to develop an integrative analytic framework, this project can form the basis for a substantial future line of research that promises to yield better understandings of the processes that underpin contemporary conflicts. This proposal would fund creation of a new set of pilot data for manuscript and grant preparation, and partially support the recruitment, training, and mentoring of a graduate student. Both are critically important steps to developing a sustainable funding program around current needs and opportunities in quantitative social science.