Analysis of a Terror Network from a System Dynamics Perspective
University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 322
38 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 5, 2012
Terrorism is a complex problem and therefore simple solutions focusing just on one aspect are destined to fail. We have to capture terrorism in its entirety and system dynamics offers various tools to support us. We developed a semi-quantitative system dynamics approach aiming to characterize relationships between different variables and their impact on the system as a whole. The authors established a network to model terrorism consisting of 16 variables and performed different analysis to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms behind terrorism. We showed how to determine which variables are suited for intervention and described in detail their effects on the influence of the terrorist organization. The paper gives also an insight how to elicit elements that destabilize and ultimately break down the terror network. Because we clarify our approach using fictitious numbers, the relevance of this work is not so much in specific policy recommendations that it proposes as in the framework for reasoning that it provides.
Keywords: qualitative system dynamics, cross-impact matrix, cross-time matrix, intervention variables, path analysis, network stability
JEL Classification: Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation