Spring Essay Topic – Maximum of 1,200 Words
1. Go to http://www.sexualviolencedata.org/dataset/ which is the home of the Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC) dataset. This is a successor to the Dara Cohen data that we discussed in class. This dataset can be a jumping off point for a wide variety of essays. Here are just a few ideas:
a. Use the data to reconsider the debate between Human Security Report (Andrew Mack is the main person there) and Dara Cohen, Elizabeth Wood and other scholars. Look at the reading materials from the seminar on this (week 5 this term) but go beyond just those readings.
b. Analyse the SVAC dataset, possibly together with a second dataset such as the UCDP datasets. You could, for example, try to figure out whether various forms of sexual violence are related to the number of battle or one-sided deaths.
2. Look at the table on slide 9 of lecture 15. This is another good jumping off point for different kinds of essays. Note, though, if you do this question you should definitely read the Burke et al. paper from which I took the table. Here are a few ideas:
a. Use the UCDP battle deaths data to assess the quality of Burke et. al’s predictions for excess battle deaths due to warming. (The prediction is summarized on slides 15 and 16.)
b. Reexamine the Burke et al. calculation for excess battle deaths due to global warming (slides 15 and 16) building in uncertainty over the estimate. That is, develop a range rather than a single estimate (which is 395,000 for Burke et al.). You can draw on some of the material in slide 9 for your uncertainty but you may also want to look elsewhere.
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