Understanding & Modeling State Stability: Exploiting System Dynamics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science
Princeton University - Department of Political Science
J. Bradley Morrison
Brandeis University - International School of Business
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management
MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4574-06
CISL Working Paper No. 2006-02
The potential loss of state stability in various parts of the world is a source of threat to U.S. national security. Every case is unique, but there are common processes. Accordingly, we develop a system dynamics model of state stability by representing the nature and dynamics of 'loads' generated by insurgency activities, on the one hand, and by articulating the core features of state resilience and its 'capacity' to withstand these 'loads', on the other. The problem is to determine and 'predict' when threats to stability override the resilience of the state and, more important, to anticipate propensities for 'tipping points', namely conditions under which small changes in anti-regime activity can generate major disruptions. On this basis, we then identify appropriate actionable mitigation factors to decrease the likelihood of 'tipping' and enhance prospects for stability.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: national security, state stability, system dynamics
Date posted: January 20, 2006
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