Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict

ISBN-10: 0801476186
ISBN-13: 9780801476181
Edition: 2010
List price: $24.95 Buy it from $3.46
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Description: "At least 200,000-250,000 people died in the war in Bosnia." "There are three million child soldiers in Africa." "More than 650,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the U.S. occupation of Iraq." "Between 600,000 and 800,000 women are  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 5/7/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

"At least 200,000-250,000 people died in the war in Bosnia." "There are three million child soldiers in Africa." "More than 650,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the U.S. occupation of Iraq." "Between 600,000 and 800,000 women are trafficked across borders every year." "Money laundering represents as much as 10 percent of global GDP." "Internet child porn is a $20 billion-a-year industry." These are big, attention-grabbing numbers, frequently used in policy debates and media reporting. Peter Andreas and Kelly M. Greenhill see only one problem: these numbers are probably false. Their continued use and abuse reflect a much larger and troubling pattern: policymakers and the media naively or deliberately accept highly politicized and questionable statistical claims about activities that are extremely difficult to measure. As a result, we too often become trapped by these mythical numbers, with perverse and counterproductive consequences.This problem exists in myriad policy realms. But it is particularly pronounced in statistics related to the politically charged realms of global crime and conflict-numbers of people killed in massacres and during genocides, the size of refugee flows, the magnitude of the illicit global trade in drugs and human beings, and so on. In Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts, political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, and policy analysts critically examine the murky origins of some of these statistics and trace their remarkable proliferation. They also assess the standard metrics used to evaluate policy effectiveness in combating problems such as terrorist financing, sex trafficking, and the drug trade.

Kelly M. Greenhill is Assistant Professor of Government at Tufts University and a Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. She is coeditor of Sex, Drugs, and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict , also from Cornell.

List of Contributors
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Politics of Numbers
The Politics of Measuring Illicit Flows and Policy-Effectiveness
Trafficking in Numbers: The Social Construction of Human Trafficking Data
Numbers and Certification: Assessing Foreign Compliance in Combating Narcotics and Human Trafficking
The Illusiveness of Counting "Victims" and the Concreteness of Ranking Countries: Trafficking in Persons from Colombia to Japan
Counting the Cost: The Politics of Numbers in Armed Conflict
Research and Repercussions of Death Tolls: The Case of the Bosnian Book of the Dead
The Ambiguous Genocide: The U.S. State Department and the Death Toll in Darfur
Accounting for Absence: The Colombian Paramilitaries in U.S. Policy Debates
(Mis)Measuring Success in Countering the Financing of Terrorism
Conclusion: The Numbers in Politics
Index

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