Using Entropy to Explain International System Disorder
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper
The paper introduces an interpretation of international anarchy as a continuous variable describing the degree of change of the international system disorder. It addresses the differences in the levels of international system’s uncertainty, which is generated by the use of aggressive versus peaceful policies, as being a proxy for entropy. Low entropy systems seem to display a higher level of international order, while an increasing level of entropy is a sign of emerging international disorder. Internal entropy of countries has also an effect on the level of uncertainty in foreign affairs. It appears the entropy mechanism could explain the degree of order decay in international system. A formal model of international system entropy would be necessary for more accurate results.
Keywords: anarchy, entropy, international system, international conflict, international disorderworking papers series
Date posted: August 1, 2011 ; Last revised: September 7, 2011
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