Agent-Based Simulation of State Collapse and Reconstruction: Analyzing the Past and Future of Somalia
33 Pages Posted: 6 May 2016
Date Written: May 5, 2016
Civil conflicts are frequently accompanied by significant political dynamics of state integration and disintegration. Despite substantial methodological advancement in the conflict literature, there have been few attempts at incorporating these dynamics into a formal analysis of conflict. In this article, we present an agent-based model of civil conflict that has a distinctive focus on state territorial integration and disintegration. Using various empirical data, we apply this model to the case of Somalia. The model is shown to capture several defining characteristics of the territorial rule in Somalia, most notably the strong tendency of the country to fragment. Extensive simulations also reveal the structural nature of the country’s resource constraints, which persistently hinder the nationwide establishment of stable rule. These results and their implications offer a fresh perspective for the literature on the conflicts in Somalia, which has often focused on a specific social cleavage and its political exploitation.
Keywords: Civil Conflict, State Collapse, Territorial Rule, Agent-Based Simulation, Somalia
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