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Peering through the Kaleidoscope: Variation and Validity in Data Collection on Terrorist Attacks

Belur, JS; Behlendorf, B; Kumar, S; (2016) Peering through the Kaleidoscope: Variation and Validity in Data Collection on Terrorist Attacks. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism , 39 (7-8) pp. 641-667. 10.1080/1057610X.2016.1141004. Green open access

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Abstract

The nature of underreporting terrorism in developing countries is often acknowledged but poorly understood. Focusing on India, we triangulate terrorist attacks captured across three media-based datasets (GTD, SATP, WITS) against official police records from Andhra Pradesh. Results suggest that media-based datasets capture the geographic prevalence of terrorism yet severely underestimate the frequency of violence, biasing towards lethal bombings. Considerable variation is present for attacks targeting specific classes or types of actors. Similar to other crimes, the results suggest that existing terrorism databases represent a select version of violence in these countries, discounting the prevalence and regularity of non-lethal violent activity.

Type: Article
Title: Peering through the Kaleidoscope: Variation and Validity in Data Collection on Terrorist Attacks
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/1057610X.2016.1141004
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2016.1141004
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in Conflict & Terrorism on 6 April 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/1057610X.2016.1141004.
Keywords: Event data, terrorism, media bias, data quality, triangulation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474752
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