The Washington Post Predicts a Year Full of Coups in Africa

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 11.54.53 AMThe Washington Post’s foreign affairs blogger Max Fisher  posted an entry earlier this week entitled: ‘A worrying map of countries most likely to have a coup in 2014′. It is based on the work of political scientist Jay Ulfelder. The post includes a coloured map of the globe with countries coloured from light yellow to dark brown. And as you might guess, the darker the country, the more likely it will see a violent overthrow of the government some time this year.

In Ulfelder’s study he takes a number of variables, such as the political stability and infant mortality rate. But he also took into account variables like how long a country’s been independent or who the last colonizer was. It’s not very clear how and why these could have an effect on the result, but according to Ulfelder’s blog these variables don’t necessarily have to have a significant effect on the risk of a coup.

This being Max Fisher, it’s not the first time he has had fun with maps and with Ulfelder’s research.Last year they did exactly the same thing, only then the headline read: ‘The countries most at risk for a coup in 2013.” At the time, Fisher called Ulfelder “the Nate Silver of coups.” Egypt didn’t make the list then. I wonder what changed in the last three hundred somewhat days that we went from ‘risk’ to ‘worrying’ and ‘most likely’?

Read full article on Africa is a Country

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