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International Contemporary Conflict, Complexity and the Hermeneutic Net Armando Geller & Scott Moss Centre for Policy Modelling Manchester Metropolitan.

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Presentation on theme: "International Contemporary Conflict, Complexity and the Hermeneutic Net Armando Geller & Scott Moss Centre for Policy Modelling Manchester Metropolitan."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Contemporary Conflict, Complexity and the Hermeneutic Net Armando Geller & Scott Moss Centre for Policy Modelling Manchester Metropolitan University Business School {armando,

2 Afghanistan: anomie, neo-patrimonialism & qawm Qawm: Elusive term Qawm are context-dependent and fluid solidarity networks transgressing all kinds of spheres of Afghan social life. Competition among and within qawm Qawm leaders need to be able to accumulate and to redistribute resources Neo-qawm emerge in an anomic and Hobbesian situation Neo-qawm are dominated by new elites In neo-qawm neo-patrimonial mechanisms prevail Neo-qawm tap on the criminal economy  The neo-qawm preserved its functional character but altered its rational amid a changing social context

3 A model of power structures (qawm ) in Afghanistan Commander Businessman Farmer Civilian Warrior Drug farmer Organised criminal Drug dealer Politician Religious leader

4 Growing qawm : Results from a representative simulation run

5 Evolving small-world networks – in the model and in reality Network properties: Sub-networks, characterised by the presence of connections between almost any two nodes within them Short path connection of nodes Average geodesic distance: Fuchs 2.972, AfghanModel Erdös-Renyi random networks have smaller clustering coefficients and their geodesic distances are comparable to those of the Fuchs and the AfghanModel networks Fuchs 2005AfghanModel

6 The dynamics of endorsements, relations and…

7 ... resources

8 Conflicting qawm Factional analysis allows unearthing possible fringe zones amongst and within qawm. We found 24 factions of which: – 10 factions are ethnically and religiously homogeneous – Only 14 factions incorporate also elites – The two most successful factions are also the ethnically and religiously most diverse factions and incorporate a diverse spectrum of agents Inter-qawm conflict – Between / amongst radical factions – Between / amongst heterogeneous and radical factions – Between / amongst heterogeneous factions Intra-qawm conflict – Between / amongst competing strongmen – As a result of social conflict (wealth, alternative livelihood strategies) – Ethnic and religious conflict within heterogeneous qawm

9 An evolving hermeneutic net No independence between the modelling cycle and the social processes a model represents. An alternative is to repeatedly cross-validate results from evidence-driven and empirically validated social simulation models against stakeholders’ narratives so that the modelling itself becomes embedded in the social processes as the modeller’s and stakeholders’ and domain experts’ perceptions of reality co- evolve. This is not so much a hermeneutic circle as it is itself a constantly evolving hermeneutic net. Epistemological value: Uncovering, dissecting and explaining social mechanisms, processes and structures

10 Conclusions Cross-validation between the AfghanModel and Fuchs (2005) suggest that the model captures aspects of reality. Neo-patrimonial behaviour of Afghan actors leads to the emergence of neo-qawm with small-world network characteristics. Hermeneutic net helps to uncover, dissect and explain complementary notions of mechanisms, processes and structures. The notion of qawm (and its factional analysis) allows for identifying potential fields of conflict; this also implies that mono-causal explanations fall short. In general: The Afghan conflict is a complex and complicated social phenomenon that is generated from traditional and new forms of politico-socio-economic cooperation and competition within and amongst traditional and new forms of organisational entities.


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