Shenoy, Ajay (2008): The Devil's Calculus: Mathematical Models of Civil War.
Download (773Kb) | Preview
In spite of the movement to turn political science into a real science, various mathematical methods that are now the staples of physics, biology, and even economics are thoroughly uncommon in political science, especially the study of civil war. This study seeks to apply such methods - specifically, ordinary differential equations (ODEs) - to model civil war based on what one might dub the capabilities school of thought, which roughly states that civil wars end only when one side’s ability to make war falls far enough to make peace truly attractive. I construct several different ODE-based models and then test them all to see which best predicts the instantaneous capabilities of both sides of the Sri Lankan civil war in the period from 1990 to 1994 given parameters and initial conditions.
The model that the tests declare most accurate gives very accurate predictions of state military capabilities and reasonable short term predictions of cumulative deaths. Analysis of the model reveals the scale of the importance of rebel finances to the sustainability of insurgency, most notably that the number of troops required to put down the Tamil Tigers is reduced by nearly a full order of magnitude when Tiger foreign funding is stopped. The study thus demonstrates that accurate foresight may come of relatively simple dynamical models, and implies the great potential of advanced and currently unconventional non-statistical mathematical methods in political science.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||The Devil's Calculus: Mathematical Models of Civil War|
|Keywords:||civil war; mathematical model; differential equations; dynamic model|
|Subjects:||N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation > N45 - Asia including Middle East
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C0 - General > C02 - Mathematical Methods
H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H56 - National Security and War
|Depositing User:||Ajay Shenoy|
|Date Deposited:||29. May 2008 04:09|
|Last Modified:||21. Feb 2013 09:13|
Akcinaroglu, S. and Radziszewski, E. (2005). Expectations, rivalries, and civil war duration. International Interactions, 31(4):349–374.
Alison, M. (2003). Cogs in the wheel? Women in the liberation tigers of tamil eelam. Civil Wars, 6(4):37–54.
Allan, P. and Stahel, A. A. (1983). Tribal guerrilla warfare against a colonial power. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 27(4):590–617.
Athas, I. (1987). Government regains control of Jaffna peninsula district. United Press International, May 29.
Balch-Lindsay, D. and Enterline, A. J. (2000). Killing time: The world politics of civil war duration, 1820-1992. International Studies Quarterly, 44(4):615.
Bazzi, M. (2001). Weapons sales suffering in Pakistan: gunsmiths say crackdown is hurting trade. newsday.com.
British Broadcasting Corporation (1995). Probe reveals details of LTTE extortion from businessmen. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, August 25.
CanagaRetna, S. M. (1996). A nation at the crossroads: Sri Lanka in the mid-1990s. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 50(2).
Collier, P., Elliot, V. L., Hegre, H., Hoeffler, A., Reynal-Querol, M., and Sambanis, N. (2003). Breaking the Conflict Trap. The World Bank and Oxford University Press.
Collier, P. and Hoeffler, A. (1998). On economic causes of civil war. Oxford Economic Papers, 50(4):563.
Collier, P. and Hoeffler, A. (2004). Greed and grievance in civil war. Oxford Economic Papers, 56(4):563–595.
Collier, P., Hoeffler, A., and S¨oderbom, M. (2004). On the duration of civil war. Journal of Peace Research, 41(3):253–273.
Department of Census and Statistics, Sri Lanka (2008). Colombo consumers’ price index. Website.
Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University (2008). Uppsala conflict database. Database.
DeRouen Jr., K. R. and Sobek, D. (2004). The dynamics of civil war duration and outcome. Journal of Peace Research, 41(3):303–320.
Edirisinghe, R. (1994). Sri lanka’s experiment in market economy. Business Times (Singapore), May 11.
Elbadawi, I. A. and Sambanis, N. (2000). External interventions and the duration of civil wars. Technical Report 2433, Policy Research Dissemination Center.
Farrell, S. (2001). Military attacks rebel bases after runway strike. The Times (London), July 25.
Fearon, J. D. and Laitin, D. D. (2003). Ethnicity, insurgency, and civil war. American Political Science Review, 97(1):75.
Gamini, G. and Chaudhary, V. (1990). Sri Lankan villagers flee ethnic attacks in east. Christian Science Monitor, August 21.
Guevara, E. C. (2006). Guerilla Warfare. Ocean Press, New York.
Gupta, S., de Mello, L., and Sharan, R. (2000). Corruption and military spending. Working paper, International Monetary Fund.
Gurr, T. (1968). A causal model of civil strife: A comparative analysis using new indices. The American Political Science Review, 62(4):1104–1124.
Huntington, S. P. (1993). The clash of civilizations? Foreign Affairs, 72(3):22–49.
International Institute for Strategic Studies (2008). Armed conflict database.
International Relations and Security Network and Stockholm International Peace Research
Institute (2008). Facts on International Relations and Security Trends database.
IPS-Inter Press Service (1994). Sri lanka-politics: Rebels accept cease-fire. IPS-Inter Press Service, December 12.
Keerawella, G. and Samarajiva, R. (1994). Sri Lanka in 1993. Asian Survey, 34(2):168.
Lacina, B. and Gleditsch, N. P. (2005). Monitoring trends in global combat: A new dataset of battle deaths. European Journal of Population, 21(2-3):145–166.
Lindner, E. G. (2001). Humiliation as the source of terrorism: A new paradigm. Peace Research, 33(2):59.
McCarthy, T. (1990). Thousands flee as war is declared in Sri Lanka. The Independent.
Morris, C. (1991). Tiger ambush leaves 45 Sri Lankan troops dead. The Guardian.
Morris, N. and Cruez, D. (1995). The Canadian connection: Sri Lanka moves to crush Tamil rebels at home and abroad. Maclean’s, November 27:28.
Nessman, R. (2007). Tamil Tiger rule is over, but chaos still reigns. The Virginian-Pilot, October 7:N8.
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (2006). Military personnel (m-1) and operation and maintenance (o-1) programs. Technical report, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller).
Richardson, J. (2005). Paradise Poisoned. International Center for Ethnic Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Schaffer, H. B. (1995). The Sri Lankan elections of 1994: The chandrika factor. Asian Survey, 35(5):409–425.
Skelton, R. (1990). Guerrilla in our midst. Sunday Herald, June 10.
Stack, John F., J. (1997). The ethnic challenge to international relations theory. In Carment, D. and James, P., editors, Wars in the Midst of Peace, page 11. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA.
Stern, J. (2003). Terror in the Name of God. Ecco, New York.
Stockholm Institute of Peace Research (2008). SIPRI military expenditure database.
Swiss Review of World Affairs (1995). Tamils: Exile in switzerland. Swiss Review of World Affairs, January 3.
Sydney Morning Herald (1990). Cold-blooded butchery on paradise island. Sydney Morning Herald.
The Economist (1993). Gone away. The Economist, April 3:40.
United Nations Statistics Division (2008). United Nations common database.
Winslow, D. and Woost, M. (2004). Articulatons of economy and ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. In Winslow, D. and Woost, M., editors, Economy, Culture, and Civil War in Sri Lanka, pages 1–30. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN.