Accounting for Death in War: Separating Fact from Fiction
Discover the main methods used to account for war deaths, how they’ve been used and practice using them yourself.
Understand how war deaths are counted
Calculating the number of deaths during a war is a difficult, but necessary, task – having accurate information is crucial for political and societal debates and decisions.
On this course you will explore the methods currently used to account for war deaths and then apply these methods to particular wars. Along the way you will debunk some widely circulated war-death claims. You will focus mainly on direct, violent deaths but will also cover some estimates of non-violent deaths caused indirectly by war.
What topics will you cover?
- Memorializing people who have died in wars, both combatants and civilians
- The idea of casualty recording; listing war dead name-by-name or event-by-event with details about each case
- Using statistical methods to estimate the total number of war deaths and breakdowns by categories
- Estimating the number of non-violent deaths caused indirectly by war
- Applications to air strikes and explosive violence worldwide and to wars in Kosovo, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond
Who is the course for?
This course is for anyone interested in war, history, and politics and/or the use and abuse of numbers and statistics. You don’t need an advanced knowledge of mathematics.