Global Pattern Formation and Ethnic/Cultural Violence

Colleagues from NECSI just published this interesting paper:

Global Pattern Formation and Ethnic/Cultural Violence

M. Lim, R. Metzler, Y. Bar-Yam,
Science 317, 5844 (2007).

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  • Previous Work: Global Control, Ethnic Violence and Terrorism, from Making Things Work, Knowledge Press, Cambridge, MA (2005). view PDF


    We identify a process of global pattern formation that causes regions to differentiate by culture. Violence arises at boundaries between regions that are not sufficiently well defined. We model cultural differentiation as a separation of groups whose members prefer similar neighbors with a characteristic group size at which violence occurs. Application of this model to the area of the former Yugoslavia and to India accurately predicts the locations of reported conflict. This model also points to imposed mixing or boundary clarification as mechanisms for promoting peace.

  • Prediction of regions of ethnic violence in the former Yugoslavia (red overlay) by an agent model (colored dots as agents) based upon the population distribution of ethnic groups in 1991. The prediction map is shown in the context of a geospatial map of Europe.
    Click here for larger image.


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