NECSI Resources

 International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2007)

Modeling state stability using System Dynamics

Daniel Goldsmith
Sloan School of Management, MIT

Stuart Madnick
Sloan School of Management, MIT

Nazli Choucri
Sloan School of Management, MIT

Michael Siegel
Sloan School of Management, MIT

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     Last modified: October 23, 2007

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 propensities for 'tipping points,' that is, the 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 'tipping' and enhance prospects for stability.

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