Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict

Small Wars, Big DataAuthors: Eli Berman, chair of economics at the University of California-San Diego; Joseph Felter, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia; Jacob Shapiro, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; with Vestal McIntyre, staff writer at the Harvard Kennedy School

Publisher: Princeton University Press, June 2018

The way wars are fought has changed starkly over the past 60 years. International military campaigns used to play out between large armies at central fronts. Today’s conflicts find major powers facing rebel insurgencies that deploy elusive methods, from improvised explosives to terrorist attacks. Small Wars, Big Data presents a transformative understanding of these contemporary confrontations and how they should be fought. The authors show that a revolution in the study of conflict — enabled by vast data, rich qualitative evidence and modern methods — yields new insights into terrorism, civil wars and foreign interventions.

Modern warfare is not about struggles over territory but over people. Civilians — and the information they might choose to provide — can turn the tide at critical junctures. Small Wars, Big Data provides groundbreaking perspectives for how small wars can be better strategized and won to the benefit of the local population.

Text and book cover courtesy of the publisher