In a continuation my plate-clearing strategy, here is a list of relevant research which has been published in the last few weeks. Loads of great writing material here, but alas I just don’t have the time.
By Laurie Garrett
Cubans want the United States to lift its long-standing embargo on Cuba, but any serious easing of trade and travel restrictions between the two countries may badly harm Cuba’s health-care industry.
By Phillip Nieburg, J. Stephen Morrison, Emily Poster Hoch
This brief analysis of U.S. roles in global health preparedness is not intended to be an encyclopedic review. The goal is more modest and preliminary. The authors review the recent history of health preparedness efforts; examine the key leadership roles played by the United States, including promising models for building capacity in partner governments; discuss important initiatives by the World Health Organization (WHO), nongovernmental groups, and other donors; acknowledge innate difficulties in strengthening global preparedness; and lay out core recommendations for a long-term strategic U.S. role and approach.
By Luke N. Condra, Joseph H. Felter, Radha K. Iyengar, Jacob N. Shapiro
How are insurgents able to mobilize the population to fight and withhold valuable information from government forces? More specifically, what role does government mistreatment of non-combatants play? We study these questions by using uniquely-detailed micro-data from Afghanistan and Iraq to assess the impact of civilian casualties on insurgent violence. By comparing the data along temporal, spatial, and gender dimensions we are able to distinguish short-run ‘information’ and ‘capacity’ effects from the longer run ‘recruiting’ and ‘revenge’ effects. In Afghanistan we find strong evidence for a revenge effect in that local exposure to ISAF generated civilian casualties drives increased insurgent violence over the long-run. Matching districts with similar past trends in violence shows that counterinsurgent-generated civilian casualties from a typical incident are responsible for 6 additional violent incidents in an average sized district in the following 6 weeks. There is no evidence of short run effects in Afghanistan, thus ruling out the information and the capacity mechanisms. Critically, we find no evidence of a similar reaction to civilian casualties in Iraq, suggesting insurgents’ mobilizing tools may be quite conflict-specific. Our results show that if counterinsurgent forces in Afghanistan wish to minimize insurgent recruitment, they must minimize harm to civilians despite the greater risk this entails.
By Patrick Domingues
The consequences of civil war have been widely analyzed, but one of its aspect, yet important, remains marginally investigated: the human cost of the combats. Indeed, most of recent literature has focused on the numbers of dead and wounded, while little scope has been given to survivors’ health, whether they have been injured or not. Given that survivors are the ones who bear the burden of reconstruction, the evaluation of the health costs of civil conflict, is therefore crucial for the conception and the implementation of proper economic policies. This paper is an attempt in this direction. It aims at assessing the impact of the fifteen year long Mozambican civil war on the long-run health and nutritional status of adult women, measured by their height-for-age z-score (HAZ). In this perspective, two sets of data are used: the household survey data derived from Demographic and Health Survey (DHS+ 2003) which provides individual level information and in particular a set of anthropometric measures combined with an original, event dataset reporting the timing and location of battles and military actions that took place during this war. In accordance with the existing literature on this topic, I find that women who were exposed to the conflict during the early stages of their lives have, on average, a weaker health in comparison to other women, reflected by a lower HAZ. Using the Infancy-Childhood-Puberty Curves, a concept given by the medical literature studying the human growth process, I point out that this negative effect depends both on the age of entry into civil war and on the number of months spent in conflict. Furthermore, this study indicates that months of civil war before a woman’s birth also have a negative impact on her health highlighting thus the importance of the prenatal conditions. Moreover, as recent works have shown, a poor health status induces other adverse effects in the long run. All of these effects emphasize the importance of preventing civil wars and stopping ongoing conflicts.
By Michael Spagat
Sanctions applied against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq “caused 500 000 children to die”. The figure, and the causation, is quoted by politicians and pressure groups. Is it justified, or were the statistics manipulated by one of the nastiest regimes on earth?Michael Spagat looks at the evidence.
Christopher R. Albon is a political science Ph.D. specializing in armed conflict, public health, human security, and health diplomacy.