Carl Brinton is a former student of mine, and former coder for the WomanStats Project. Carl's honors thesis project was the development of a scale, which he entitled the SOCIC Scale, for States of Concern to the International Community. I have found this a very useful scale to use in my own research, and felt it would be a shame to let his scale linger in obscurity in an honors thesis where no one would ever find it. To rescue the scale from such a fate, I am placing it on my website. Carl's descriptions are below, and I also provide links to his coding rules, the actual scores (2007 and 2011 for SOCIC, and 2011 for NNIR), and also mappings for each scale and timepoint. Enjoy!

  • The SOCIC Scale: States of Concern to the International Community

    The past decade has been one of often marred by the use of violent force, revolution, oppression, and economic collapse. The antagonists in most of these incidents were a group of nation-states and non-state actors that threatened and/or harmed those around them. Whether these malefactors were governments, or supported by governments, or even merely allowed to exist by the incompetence of governments failing to check them, there are states, often terms rogue states or failed states, who perpetuate the insecurity of the international community.

    The States of Concern to the International Community (SOCIC) Scale was created in 2007 (with data from 1997-2006) in an effort to more objectively and rigorously determine which states posed the greatest concern to the international community, their neighbors, and their own citizens. We aimed to understand SOCIC in a more holistic sense by combining factors of external aggression and internal repression and adding to those factors leading to economic insecurity. To reduce the political bias that has often plagued analyses of rogue states and failed states, the project used the standard of international norm non-compliance, comparing state action or inaction with dozens of principles codified in international normative documents.

    The SOCIC score is presented on a 5 point ordinal scale ranging from states that almost never violate any international norms, especially in terms of use of force, to those states that frequently violate international political and economic norms on top their egregious violation of use-of-force norms. Recreating the scale in 2011 (with data from 2007-2011), we begin to see trends over time in which states have improved and which have gone further down the path of concern. In the SOCIC scales we draw from a rich combination of official and non-governmental sources in addition to academic and think tank studies on nation-state behavior for the past 15 years to paint a nuanced picture of the world's states of concern.

    ~ SOCIC Coding Rules

    ~ Excel Spreadsheet with SOCIC 2007 and 2011 (and NNIR) (Interval and Ordinal versions)

    ~ Mapping of SOCIC 2007

    ~ Mapping of SOCIC 2011

  • The NNIR Scale: Net Newsworthy Incident Ratio

    In determining an operationalization of nation-state behavior internationally and intranationally, we found that the available data rests upon the discovery of information, whether through direct observation or secondary sourcing. In studying over 150 nation-states, the most comprehensive way to gather data is to tap into a diverse network of people who collect and report on primary and secondary information: the media. We recognize the difficulty inherent in gather secondary sources, so this nation-state behavior score is termed the Net Newsworthy Incident Ratio (NNIR) because it is, of necessity, not a perfect observation of nation-state behavior. However, drawing upon the Keesings World News Archive, a relatively less biased and more comprehensive research organization, we feel that this score represents a comparatively accurate account of, on balance, how positive or negative the incidents involving this nation-state were for the year 2008. The number and nature of positive and negative incidents were coded then used to create a ratio, with the best states having more than 2 more positive than negative incidents, the worst states having more than 10 more negative than positive incidents.

    ~ NNIR Coding Rules

    ~ Excel Spreadsheet with NNIR 2011 (along with SOCIC) (Interval and Ordinal versions)

    ~ Mapping of NNIR 2011