Using System Dynamics to Model and Better Understand State Stability

42 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2007

See all articles by Nazli Choucri

Nazli Choucri

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science

Daniel Goldsmith

MIT Center for Digital Business

Stuart Madnick

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Dinsha Mistree

Princeton University - Department of Political Science

J. Bradley Morrison

Brandeis University - International School of Business

Michael Siegel

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: July 1, 2007

Abstract

The world can be complex and dangerous - the loss of state stability of countries is of increasing concern. Although every case is unique, there are important common processes. We have developed a system dynamics model of state stability based on an extensive review of the literature and debriefings of subject matter experts. We represent the nature and dynamics of the 'loads' generated by insurgency activities, on the one hand, and the core features of state resilience and its 'capacity' to withstand these 'loads', on the other. The challenge is to determine when threats to stability override the resilience of the state and, more important, to anticipate conditions under which small additional changes in anti-regime activity can generate major disruptions. With these insights, we can identify appropriate and actionable mitigation factors to decrease the likelihood of radical shifts in behavior and enhance prospects for stability.

Keywords: model, system dynamics, state stability, terrorists, insurgency, regime legitimacy

Suggested Citation

Choucri, Nazli and Goldsmith, Daniel and Madnick, Stuart E. and Mistree, Dinsha and Morrison, J. Bradley and Siegel, Michael, Using System Dynamics to Model and Better Understand State Stability (July 1, 2007). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4661-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1011230 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1011230

Nazli Choucri

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Daniel Goldsmith

MIT Center for Digital Business ( email )

United States

Stuart E. Madnick (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E53-321
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6671 (Phone)
617-253-3321 (Fax)

Dinsha Mistree

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States

J. Bradley Morrison

Brandeis University - International School of Business ( email )

Mailstop 032
P.O. Box 549110
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States
781-736-2246 (Phone)
781-736-2269 (Fax)

Michael Siegel

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E53-323
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-2937 (Phone)
617-258-7579 (Fax)

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