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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: FP7 » 1M€ reparation cost per civilian death in conflicts

version: 18 / updated: 2011-07-19
id: #1760 / version id: #1249
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Rafael Popper
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Rafael Popper
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 8 - Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

Conflicts, peace and human rights

Optional reference/s to FP7 project/s

Use the following format: Project Acronym (Project Reference No.). Use commas if more than one project is associated to this Wild Card, for example: ALFA-BIRD (213266), SAFAR (213374), LAPCAT-II (211485)
EC-funded DOMAC project on Impact of international criminal procedures on domestic criminal procedures in mass atrocity cases (http://www.domac.is). See also - http://www.iraqbodycount.org/


(max. 9 words)

1M€ reparation cost per civilian death in conflicts


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
Revelations of massive numbers of civilian deaths in conflict zones where Western countries are active lead to the rapid growth of a well-organised social movement (using Facebook and Twitter and other web technologies) to campaign to institute reparation costs per civilian victim at around 1Million Euros. These arrangements are used by state actors: for instance, the Iraqi government might take legal actions against coalition forces – this would mean a massive payout (more than 150Billion€ reparation, given that over 150K civilians have been killed since 2003). Other governments that have also been affected by armed conflicts would start preparing similar reparation lawsuits, with controversies arising around time limitations and criteria of responsibility for casualties.


civilian, death, reparation, Iraq, USA, coalition, law


(max. 250 characters)

Well-organised social movement (via Facebook) initially led by relatives of victims in armed conflicts but rapidly backed by governments & celebrities, leads to new regulations fixing at 1M€ the usual reparation cost per civilian death in conflicts.


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Features of life if the wild card manifests

Feature 1: business models and industrial environment
Immense scope for lawyers - on all sides of the issue - arguing merits of specific cases and class actions. Private firms liable to be held responsible for some share of costs – pursued through courts by governments and civil society actors on all sides.
Feature 2: education and research environment
Efforts to pay compensation via institution-building (e.g. funding hospitals, schools and research foundations), bursaries (scholarships for children of victims) and other means could support growth of STI in conflict zones.
Feature 3: consumers, markets and lifestyles
Wealthy individuals from conflict zones could effect influence on global tastes and political awareness.
Feature 4: technology and infrastructure
Building and repairing infrastructure advocated (not entirely without self-interest) by those countries being charged for casualties).
Feature 5: politics and global affairs
New legal frameworks need to be instituted, and making these legally binding across countries is remarkably difficult.
Feature 6: health and quality of life
Greater efforts to generate (low-cost, developing-country-adapted, etc.) medical, surgical and disability-related devices.
Feature 7: security and defence
Significant reduction of civilian deaths in arm conflicts. Significant efforts to shift blame and responsibility for civilian deaths by using surrogates and by developing or manufacturing intelligence on military role of alleged civilians. Surveillance of military forces by new technologies (e.g. satellite imaging).

Type of event

Human planned (e.g. terrorist attack or funded scientific breakthrough)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
An extreme extension of a trend/development/situation
(e.g. Increased global warming leads to a total ban on fossil fuels)
Reparation costs per civilian death are often calculated at unbelievable low rates around 1,500USD.

Historical parallels

Germany's reparation costs after the World Wars.

Type of systems affected

Human-built Systems - E.g. organisations, processes, technologies, etc.




please specify:
please select
Level 1: important for a particular country USA, UK, Iraq
Level 3: important for the European Union
Level 4: important for the whole world

Early indicators

(including weak signals)

Iraq Body Count's early assessment of what the logs released by WikiLeaks add to the known Iraqi death toll. The Iraq War Logs contain an estimated 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths. The majority of these new deaths come from small incidents of one to three deaths. Additionally, IBC calculates that over 150,000 violent deaths have been recorded since March 2003, with more than 122,000 (80%) of them civilian. The Iraq War Logs released by WikiLeaks on 22 October 2010, contain 54,910 records compiled by the United States military whose numerical fields register 109,032 violent deaths between January 2004 and December 2009. These casualty records contain four categories of casualties, ‘Civilian’ (66,081 deaths), ‘Host Nation’ (15,196 deaths),‘Enemy’ (23,984 deaths), and ‘Friendly’ (3,771 deaths). See http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/numbers/warlogs/

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
institutional filters (rules, laws, regulations)
political filters (party or ideological interests)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

Very uncertain

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Transformation of a system (e.g. new applications, change in stakeholders relations/influence)


Mass media and national governments involved in international conflicts may filter/block information related to reparation costs.

Key drivers or triggers

Provide up to 2 possible drivers or triggers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
please describe
Driver / Trigger 1
please describe
Driver / Trigger 2
Social Growing public concerns about significant civilian losses in Iraq and other conflict areas.
Technological/Scientific Growing use of web and social technologies (e.g. WikiLeaks, Facebook, Twitter) to shape policies.
Economic Growing costs of wars.
Political Growing concerns about a government affected by armed conflicts preparing major reparation lawsuits.

Potential impacts (risks & opportunities)

Timeframe options
Risks Opportunities
(within 1 year after the Wild Card manifests)
Significant reduction of the number of civilian deaths in armed conflicts.

Potential stakeholders' actions

it occurs
it occurs
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) USA may veto any UN Security Council resolution on this matter. Iraq, Afghanistan and other invaded nations may lobby for this wild card to manifest. USA and coalition forces could refuse to pay reparation costs.
Business actors (incl. SMEs) Private security firms may not recognise responsibility for civilian deaths.

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Coexistence and conflicts
Governance and trust in democracy

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Social Sciences and Humanities

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Overcoming sub-criticality and systemic failures
To be subcritical means that the effort in a particular field or subfield lacks resources, equipment or a sufficient number of researchers to achieve a desired goal
Need for more reliable and official figures and analysis of civilian deaths in conflicts.

Relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
Need for a comprehensive and just estimation of civilian casualties and reparation costs, for more clarification of sources of civilian casualties and means of reducing these.