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Robert Abzug, Director CLA 2.402, 305 E 23rd St B3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-475-6178

Upcoming Events

Golda: Fifty Shades of Gold

Mon, February 25, 2013 • 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM • CLA 1.302D

A talk by Pnina Lahav (Professor of Law, Boston University).

Israel Block Party

Wed, February 27, 2013 • 11:30 AM - 5:00 PM • South Mall


Sponsored by: Texas Hillel

200 Years of Jewish History

Mon, April 15, 2013 • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM • Texas Hillel

Q&A to follow film screening with Orna Bird.

Independence Day Lecture: The War of Attrition and its Ramifications on the State of Israel Today

Tue, April 16, 2013 • TBD

Dr. Zeev Drory - Managing Director, the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee

Dr. Zeev Drory has a Ph.D. in History from the Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva. His previous diplomas include an M.A. in Political Science from Tel Aviv University, a B.A. in International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an  additional B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben Gurion University.

Prior to joining the Kinneret College in 2008, Dr. Drory was member of staff at the faculties of History at Haifa University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv University. He has also been a visiting lecturer at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford, and King’s College, London University. Among his many published works, the most recent are The Nahal Haredi Battalion: Prospects and Risks (2005), Florsheimer Institute for Policy Studies, Jerusalem; Israeli Reprisal Policy: 1953-1956 (2004), Frank Cass, Taylor and Francis Group PLC, London; and Utopia in Uniform: The Israel Defense Forces’ Contributions to Settlement, Alia and Education, in the Early Days of the State (2000), The Ben-Gurion Research Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Press.

Dr. Drory served in the IDF for many years and retired as a Colonel. Among other roles he served as the Commander of  Givati Brigade and  Shaked special unit. Dr. Drory is also a past Commander of the IDF radio station “Galey Zahal” in addition to chairing the Givati Brigade Veteran Association.

TIGER Workshop

Fri, April 19, 2013 • CLA 2.402

Over the last several decades quantitative research on armed conflicts has become increasingly influential for theory building and policy making. However, this strain of research raises numerous ontological and methodological issues that receive relatively little attention from social scientists.  

First, much of the research is data-driven. The majority of studies of terrorism and insurgencies rely on a limited number of online databases, which were mostly compiled by journalists or from journalistic sources without rigorous protocols for data collection.  Indeed, a comparison between different databases that are aimed at documenting the same phenomenon reveals large discrepancies. 

Second, since the data was not collected for a particular study, scholars often are forced to ignore important variables, which could be highly relevant for the testing of their hypotheses, but are not present in the database. In many cases researchers rely on proxy variables in place of more appropriate or accurate variables, as well as on data that is coded at the aggregate (i.e. country), a practice that masks variations across time (i.e. days, months) and space (i.e. local, regional).

Third, due to data availability, the most frequent subject for research on terrorism and counterterrorism is the Arab-Israeli conflict, while Africa serves as the main hub for quantitative analyses of civil wars.  Given the focus on statistical analyses, much of the research on conflicts is conducted by scholars with greater knowledge of sophisticated statistical techniques than of the cases under consideration. 

The result has been a volume of statistically sophisticated research that lacks solid theoretical and substantive foundations.  In many cases, the lack of these pillars along with the limited quality of the data leads to distorted findings, flawed conclusions, and dangerous policy recommendations. This project aims at addressing these problems through the creation of a multidisciplinary research group. We will work together on generating an innovative “high-definition” dataset of the Arab-Israeli conflict from 1936 to present.

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