Freedom to Riot: on the Evolution of Collective Violence

Really interesting post in 3 Quarks daily today by Eric Michael Johnson on collective violence

It includes this graph that correlates food prices and social unrest in the Middle East. Models that suggest that group behavior are the result of lots of individual moral decisions don’t seem to fit with this data. That is one of the problems of conservative individualistic mind sets: they see unrest as individual decision making that needs the deterrence of repressive policing or some change to education to drive in morality and respect for property and the status quo. They don’t often consider things like the price of food or the scale of cut backs that affect the poor.

Food Price Index and Riots

It also includes this graph of unrest in Europe correlated with scale of government spending cut backs.

Expenditure cuts in Europe

Total amount of social discord (CHAOS) in Europe between 1919 and 2009 correlates with the value of budget cuts relative to GDP. Reproduced from Ponticelli and Voth (2011).


About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict History, Conflict Processes, Economic Conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s