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Understanding & Modeling State Stability: Exploiting System Dynamics

MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4574-06

CISL Working Paper No. 2006-02

13 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2006  

Nazli Choucri

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

Christi Electris

Tellus Institute

Daniel Goldsmith

Brandeis University

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

Margaret Sweitzer-Hamilton

Brown University

Date Written: January 2006

Abstract

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.

Keywords: national security, state stability, system dynamics

Suggested Citation

Choucri, Nazli and Electris, Christi and Goldsmith, Daniel and Mistree, Dinsha and Morrison, J. Bradley and Siegel, Michael and Sweitzer-Hamilton, Margaret, Understanding & Modeling State Stability: Exploiting System Dynamics (January 2006). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4574-06; CISL Working Paper No. 2006-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=876962 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.876962

Nazli Choucri (Contact Author)

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

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Christi Electris

Tellus Institute ( email )

11 Arlington Street
Boston, MA 02116-3411
United States
(617) 266-5400 (Phone)
(617) 266-8303 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://tellus.org/about/Electris.html

Daniel Goldsmith

Brandeis University ( email )

Waltham, MA 02454
United States

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)

Margaret Sweitzer-Hamilton

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

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