“The ecology of war” on the cover of Nature

by seangourley on December 16, 2009

So after 5 long years the research is finally out in print. The study titled “Common Ecology Quantifies Human Insurgency” is featured on the cover of this week’s issue of the scientific journal ‘Nature’. It puts forward a scientific model that can help to quantify collective violent activity in humans and makes a connection between human insurgency, global terrorism and ecology. You can download the paper here if you have access to a Nature login. If not, email me and I’ll see what I can do for you.

December 17th 2009 edition of Nature

December 17th 2009 edition of Nature

Our findings show that modern insurgent conflicts share common mathematical patterns in both the sizes and timing of violent events. The discovery of these mathematical patterns allows us to understand the structure and decision making processes that underlie insurgencies like Iraq and Afghanistan. Our model tells us how insurgent groups form, how they grow, how they make decisions and how many groups there are. We can also run different political scenarios on the model to understand the likely effects of different strategic decisions. This can tell us for example the likely effect that sending more troops to Afghanistan would have on the duration of the war.

There is already a considerable amount of buzz out there about this research, with a TV piece featuring my co-author Mike Spagat going out on BBC later tonight. We shall see how it all plays out over the next week.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

dlapree April 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Not bad article, but I really miss that you didn’t express your opinion, but ok you just have different approach

Phiber April 17, 2010 at 7:59 am

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

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