Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict
Kelly M. Greenhill
Big, fascinating numbers are usually utilized in coverage debates and media reporting: "At least 200,000-250,000 humans died within the warfare in Bosnia." "There are 3 million baby squaddies in Africa." "More than 650,000 civilians were killed because of the U.S. career of Iraq." "Between 600,000 and 800,000 girls are trafficked throughout borders each year." "Money laundering represents up to 10 percentage of world GDP." "Internet baby porn is a $20 billion-a-year industry."
Peter Andreas and Kelly M. Greenhill see just one challenge: those numbers are most likely fake. Their persevered use and abuse mirror a far greater and troubling development: policymakers and the media naively or intentionally settle for hugely politicized and questionable statistical claims approximately actions which are tremendous tough to degree. therefore, we too usually turn into trapped through those legendary numbers, with perverse and counterproductive consequences.
This challenge exists in myriad coverage nation-states. however it is very reported in statistics concerning the politically charged geographical regions of world crime and conflict-numbers of individuals killed in massacres and through genocides, the scale of refugee flows, the significance of the illicit international alternate in medicines and people, etc. In Sex, medications, and physique Counts, political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, and coverage analysts severely research the murky origins of a few of those records and hint their awesome proliferation. in addition they determine the normal metrics used to guage coverage effectiveness in struggling with difficulties resembling terrorist financing, intercourse trafficking, and the drug trade.
Contributors: Peter Andreas, Brown college; Thomas J. Biersteker, Graduate Institute of overseas and improvement Studies-Geneva; Sue E. Eckert, Brown college; David A. Feingold, Ophidian study Institute and UNESCO; H. Richard Friman, Marquette college; Kelly M. Greenhill, Tufts college and Harvard college; John Hagan, Northwestern college; Lara J. Nettelfield, Institut Barcelona D'Estudis Internacionals and Simon Fraser collage; Wenona Rymond-Richmond, college of Massachusetts Amherst; Winifred Tate, Colby collage; Kay B. Warren, Brown University
among 200,000 and 250,000 humans perished within the three-and-a-half-year warfare in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Sarajevo-based study and Documentation Center’s venture on inhabitants losses printed that the quantity used to be as regards to half the unique estimate. for this reason, a few Bosnian elites vehemently attacked the venture, its architects, and its findings. Nettelfield’s targeted learn lines how the early casualty estimates grew to become fused with narratives in regards to the battle and argues that the antagonistic response.
Is very unlikely to understand policymakers’ complete wisdom of Colombian paramilitary teams. a lot of the appropriate govt reporting continues to be totally labeled, and people records that have been published were seriously redacted.72 The proper policymakers have not begun to make complete statements at the list. even if the U.S. place used to be the results of lack of understanding or denial, even though, the general public minimizing of paramilitary teams was once sincerely the results of strategic denial. Strategic in that publicly.
certain the “last decade” time-frame are inclined to say “during the 1990s,” rather than noting that the true decade in query was once 1986–96, now not 1990–2000. may this contrast make a distinction? Leaving apart the query of no matter if the estimates have been legitimate in 1996, within the intervening years, the mixture variety of conflicts on the planet plummeted from a post–World warfare II excessive of greater than 50 in 1992–93 to less than 30 a decade later.11 may well the conflicts raging within the 2000s were correspondingly extra.
Million have been disabled, and so on.19 a minimum of one writer additional upped the ante in mentioning that the 2 million killed have been “deliberately murdered,” as though their deaths as a result of clash weren't terrible enough.20 And within the preface for targeted factor of a magazine on young children and conflict, Otunnu declared that of the ninety percentage of civilian sufferers of conflict when you consider that 1990, eighty percentage “were ladies and youngsters who fell sufferer to the ‘misuse’ of small fingers and lightweight weapons.”21 No resources have been.
Violence within the zone. This used to be additionally a subject after global conflict II. while Josip Broz Tito’s partisan forces emerged triumphant, the topic of the battle usually was once principally banned from public dialogue. the level of human losses within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) used to be a topic of controversy, yet was once no longer debated in Yugoslav society till Tito’s death—more than thirty-five years after the tip of the war—provided a gap for additional inquiry and study. Over 1000000.