KNOXVILLE—The Arab Spring, the collapse of democracy in Turkey, civil wars in Africa, and continued violence in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq—imagine the possibilities if we could truly understand the socio-political forces at play, make better predictions about when violent outbreaks might happen and thus better assess the resilience of human societies to political instability.
That is the thrust of new research by NIMBioS Associate Director for Scientific Activities Sergey Gavrilets who was recently awarded a three-year grant from the US Department of Defense’s Minerva Research Initiative. Gavrilets also directs of the Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC) at NIMBioS.
The project, “Integrating structural theories of revolution with evolutionary models to predict societal resilience and (in)stability,” will develop new mathematical modeling tools to investigate political revolutions and the resilience of human societies to shocks. The research will use data from Egypt, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia to validate the models and test predictions. [Read more]