A changing State of the Union
The State of the Union is an important public moment for every president since Woodrow Wilson set the precedent in 1913. These speeches generate millions of views and are often laundry lists of policy preferences and achievements. Presidents are well aware of the public nature of these speeches and the preparation makes them primed for comparison across offices. The use of at-a-distance psychological trait analysis creates an opportunity to assess some general SOTU trends.
Conflict and Control in Donbass
Conflict I was recently asked by a colleague for some help making an updated map on territorial control in Ukraine. This led me down a rabbit hole. The conflict itself is almost entirely concentrated in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. Since the beginning of 2018 until November 9th, 2019, ACLED has recorded 1,267 fatalities as a result of the conflict. The data source has also recorded 55 unique actors involved.
Security Studies Web Data
Many modern data sources are updated frequently. Working through my dissertation and various research projects, I’ve become tired of having to download data to keep the pipeline of analysis up-to-date. While R has a number of libraries that do this contemporaneous data download, python libraries are less available. I’ve put together a basic package that does this for a few data sources. I’ll walk through how to a) install the package and b) some basic usage.
Election Violence: Latin America
Electoral Contention and Violence (EVAC) A key pillar of democratic governance is elections. This represents the time when leadership can change hands. When it does so peacefully this is a sign of a strong and stable government. The need to understand when, where and why acts of violence occur surrounding these outcomes is of great importance. A new dataset produced by Daxecker, Amicarelli and Jung addresses this need. Although Latin America accounts for only 8% of all events within the EVAC data set, it is interesting to visualize the distribution of these events.
Download A number of data sets exist that record the political phenomenon of coup d’etat. I will review how to attain and process each of these data sets in turn before comparing them with respect to data analysis. In this post I review the Rulers, Elections, and Irregular Governance (REIGN) data set. This data set is produced by Curtis Bell of OneEarthFuture foundation. It is regularly updated and maintains a country-month level of analysis.
Mapping the Bayou
Cajun Waterways Southern Louisiana is known for great cooking and a festive lifestyle. A key part of both is the hydrological landscape that shapes the state. Following some inspiration from Näytä Data, I mapped out these systems using the National Hydrogrophy Dataset (NHD). The Blue represents regions where rivers, lakes and streams are present. Rivers and streams are weighted by the Strahler number which measures the branch significance. To the west of the most important Mississippi river is the Atchafalaya, Red and Black rivers which run parallel.