About this book
International interventions are among the most controversial and complex of human endeavors. In today's smaller, flatter, and interdependent world, interventions of all sorts - economic sanctions or aid, natural-disaster relief, various diplomatic or civil-military engagements—are likely to persist and to become yet more complex and difficult. The last decade has seen an explosive growth of research on methods and tools, particularly computational tools, for estimating effects of interventions. In ESTIMATING IMPACT Alexander Kott and Gary Citrenbaum, with a stellar group of contributors, offer readers a broad and practical introduction to computational approaches for anticipating effects of interventions. International interventions and estimating effects of such interventions on human, economic, social, and political variables are of critical importance to business analysts and planners as well as to government policy planners and non-governmental humanitarian organizations. In current practice, intervention-related decisions, planning, and effects estimating rely on historical analogies, on qualitative theories, on expert opinions, experience, and intuition. ESTIMATING IMPACT argues for a broader, more balanced view. It describes how emerging computational techniques can help analysts, planners, and decision-makers in a number of ways: estimating the range of likely future conditions, highlighting unwarranted assumptions, generating alternative approaches, elucidating details and uncovering the potential for unanticipated effects. While the field is still very young, the trend is unmistakable: there is a rising recognition that quantitative, computational methods are indispensable elements—although by no means panaceas —for making prudent decisions regarding international interventions.
Computer artificial life computational social science computer science conflict resolution database decision science game theory incertainty international intervention modeling optimization peace operations verification visualization