Advertisement

Modeling Power and Authority: An Emergentist View from Afghanistan

  • Armando GellerEmail author
  • Scott Moss
Chapter
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)

Why Read This Chapter?

To understand how an evidence-driven approach using agent-based social simulation can incorporate qualitative data, and the effects of social complexity, to capture some of the workings of power and authority, even in the absence of sufficient statistical data. This is illustrated with a model of Afghan power structures, which shows how a data collection process, intuitive behavioral models and epistemological considerations can be usefully combined. It shows how, even with a situation as complex as that of Afghanistan, the object under investigation can shape the theoretical and methodological approach rather that the other way around.

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to provide a critical overview of state of the art models that deal with power and authority and to present an alternative research design. The chapter is motivated by the fact that research on power and authority is confined by a general lack of statistical data. However, the literal complexity of structures and mechanisms of power and authority requires a formalized and dynamic approach of analysis if more than a narrative understanding of the object of investigation is sought. It is demonstrated that evidence-driven and agent-based social simulation (EDABSS) can contend with the inclusion of qualitative data and the effects of social complexity at the same time. A model on Afghan power structures exemplifying this approach is introduced and discussed in detail from the data collection process and the creation of a higher order intuitive model to the derivation of the agent rules and the model’s computational implementation. EDABSS not only deals in a very direct way with social reality but also produces complex artificial representations of this reality. Explicit socio-cultural and epistemological couching of an EDABSS model is therefore essential and treated as well.

Keywords

Organize Crime Powerful Actor Target System Religious Leader Powerful Agent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Bruce Edmonds, Seyed M. Mussavi Rizi, Martin Neumann, and Flaminio Squazzoni for thoughtful and helpful comments. We also thank Zemaray Hakimi for translation and facilitator skills, Sayyed Askar Mousavi for advice in the data collection process, Shah Jamal Alam, Ruth Meyer and Bogdan Werth for modeling support, and the Bibliotheca Afghanica for access to its library.

References

  1. Alam SJ, Hillebrandt F, Schillo M (2005) Sociological implications of gift exchange in multiagent systems. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 8(3), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/8/3/5.html
  2. Alam SJ, Meyer R, Ziervogel G, Moss S (2008) The impact of HIV/AIDS in the context of socioeconomic stressors: an evidence-driven approach. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 10(4), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/10/4/7.html
  3. Alam SJ, Geller A, Meyer R, Werth B (2010) Modelling contextualized reasoning in complex societies with ‘endorsements’. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 13(4), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/13/4/6.html
  4. Axelrod R (1995) A model of the emergence of new political actors. In: Gilbert N, Conte R (eds) Artificial societies: the computer simulation of social life. Routledge, London/New York, pp 19–39Google Scholar
  5. Azoy GW (2003) Game and power in Afghanistan, 2nd edn. Waveland Press, Long GroveGoogle Scholar
  6. Bak P (1997) How nature works: the science of self organized criticality. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  7. Bayart J-F, Ellis S, Hibou B (1999) The criminalization of the state in Africa. Indiana University Press, Bloomington/IndianapolisGoogle Scholar
  8. Bhaskar R (1979) The possibility of naturalism: a philosophical critique of the contemporary human sciences. The Harvester Press, SussexGoogle Scholar
  9. Boero R, Squazzoni F (2005) Does empirical embeddedness matter? Methodological issues on agent-based models for analytical social science. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 8(4), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/8/4/6.html
  10. Boudon R (1998) Social mechanisms without black boxes. In: Hedström P, Swedberg R (eds) Social mechanism: an analytical approach to social theory. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 172–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Caldas JC, Coelho H (1999) The origin of institutions: socio-economic processes, choice, norms and conventions. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 2(2), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/2/2/1.html
  12. Canfield RL (1973) Faction and conversion in a plural society: religious alignments in the Hindu Kush. University of Michigan, Ann ArborGoogle Scholar
  13. Canfield RL (1988) Afghanistan’s social identities in crisis. In: Digard J-P (ed) Le fait ethnique en Iran et en Afghanistan. Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, pp 185–199Google Scholar
  14. Castelfranchi C (1990) Social power: a point missed in multi-agent, DAI and HCI. In: Proceedings of the first European workshop on modelling autonomous agents in a multi-agent world, Elsevier, Cambridge, pp 49–62Google Scholar
  15. Casti JL (1997) Would-be worlds: how simulation is changing the frontiers of science. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Cederman L-E (1997) Emergent actors in world politics: how states and nations develop and dissolve. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  17. Cederman L-E (2001) Agent-based modeling in political science. Pol Methodol 10(1):16–22Google Scholar
  18. Cederman L-E (2003) Modeling the size of wars: from billiard balls to sandpiles. Am Pol Sci Rev 97(1):135–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cohen PR (1985) Heuristic reasoning about uncertainty: an artificial intelligence approach. Pitman Advanced Publishing Program, BostonGoogle Scholar
  20. Cruickshank J (2003) Introduction. In: Cruickshank J (ed) Critical realism: the difference that it makes. Routledge, London/New York, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  21. Dorronsoro G (2005) Revolution unending. Hurst, LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Eckstein H (1992) Case study and theory in political science. In: Gomm R, Hammersley M, Foster P (eds) Case study method: key issues, key texts. Sage, London, pp 119–164Google Scholar
  23. Fuchs C (2005) Machtverhältnisse in Afghanistan: Netzwerkanalyse des Beziehungssystems regionaler Führer. M.A. Thesis, University of Zurich, ZurichGoogle Scholar
  24. Geller A (2006a) The emergence of individual welfare in Afghanistan. Paper presented at the 20th international political science association world congress, Fukuoka, 9–13 July 2006Google Scholar
  25. Geller A (2006b) Macht, Ressourcen und Gewalt: Zur Komplexität zeitgenössischer Konflikte; Eine agenten-basierte Modellierung. vdf, ZurichGoogle Scholar
  26. Geller A (2010) The political economy of normlessness in Afghanistan. In: Schlenkhoff A, Oeppen C (eds) Beyond the “wild tribes” – understanding modern Afghanistan and its Diaspora. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 57–70Google Scholar
  27. Geller A, Moss S (2007) The Afghan nexus: anomie, neo-Patrimonialism and the emergence of small-world networks. In: Proceedings of UK social network conference 2007, University of London, 13–14 July 2007, pp 86–88Google Scholar
  28. Geller A, Moss S (2008a) Growing Qawm: an evidence-driven declarative model of Afghan power structures. Adv Complex Syst 11(2):321–335CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  29. Geller A, Moss S (2008b) International contemporary conflict as small-world phenomenon and the hermeneutic net. Paper presented at the annual international studies association conference, San Francisco, 26–29 Mar 2008Google Scholar
  30. Gerring J (2004) What is a case study and what is it good for? Am Pol Sci Rev 98(2):341–354Google Scholar
  31. Giddens A (1976) New rules of sociological method: a positive critique of interpretative sociologies. Hutchinson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  32. Giustozzi A (2006) Genesis of a “Prince”: the rise of Ismael Khan in Western Afghanistan, 1979–1992, vol 4, Crisis states working papers series. Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics, LondonGoogle Scholar
  33. Giustozzi A (2007) War and peace economies of Afghanistan’s strongmen. Int Peacekeeping 14(1):75–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Glatzer B (1998) Is Afghanistan on the brink of ethnic and tribal disintegration? In: Maley W (ed) Fundamentalism reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban. New York University Press, New York, pp 167–181Google Scholar
  35. Glatzer B (2003) Afghanistan (Studien zur Länderbezogenen Konfliktanalyse). Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung/Gesellschaft für Technische ZusammenarbeitGoogle Scholar
  36. Gomm R, Hammersley M, Foster P (1992) Case study and theory. In: Gomm R, Hammersley M, Foster P (eds) Case study method: key issues, key texts. Sage, London, pp 234–258Google Scholar
  37. Guyot P, Drogoul A, Honiden S (2006a) Power and negotiation: lessons from agent-based participatory simulations. In: Stone P, Weiss G (eds) Proceedings of the fifth international joint conference on autonomous agents and multiagent systems (AAMAS). ACM, New York, pp 27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Guyot P, Drogoul A, Honiden S (2006b) Power and negotiation: lessons from agent-based participatory simulations. In: Stone P, Weiss G (eds) Proceedings of the fifth international joint conference on autonomous agents and multiagent systems (AAMAS). ACM Press, New York, pp 27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hirshleifer J (1991) The paradox of power. Econ Polit 3(3):177–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hirshleifer J (1995) Anarchy and its breakdown. J Polit Econ 103(1):26–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Janata A, Hassas R (1975) Ghairatman – Der gute Pashtune: Exkurs über die Grundlagen des Pashtunwali. Afghanistan J 2(2):83–97Google Scholar
  42. Kuznar LA, Frederick W (2007) Simulating the effect of nepotism on political risk taking and social unrest. Comp Math Org Theory 13(1):29–37CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  43. Lasswell HD (1936) Who gets what, when, how. Meridian Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  44. Lave CA, March JG (1975) An introduction to models in the social sciences. Harper & Row, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  45. Lazer D (2001) Review of Cederman LE (1997) Emergent actors in world politics: how states and nations develop. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 4(2), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/4/2/reviews/lazer.html
  46. Limpert E, Stahel WA, Abbt M (2001) Log-normal distributions across the sciences: keys and clues. Bioscience 51(5):341–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lustick IS (2000) Agent-based modeling of collective identity: testing constructivist theory. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 3(1), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/3/1/1.html
  48. Mailliard M, Sibertin-Blanc C (2010) What is power? Perspectives from sociology, multi-agent systems and social network analysis. Paper presented at the second symposium on social networks and multiagent systems (SNAMAS 2010), De Montfort University, Leicester, 29 Mar 2010 ftp://ftp.irit.fr/IRIT/SMAC/DOCUMENTS/PUBLIS/SocLab/SNAMAS-10.pdf
  49. Marks SR (1974) Durkheim’s theory of anomie. Am J Sociol 80(2):329–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Medard J-F (1990) L’etat patrimonialise. Politique Africaine 39:25–36Google Scholar
  51. Merton RK (1938) Social structure and anomie. Am Sociol Rev 3(5):672–682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Monsutti A (2004) Cooperation, remittances, and kinship among the Hazaras. Iran Stud 37(2):219–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mosler H-J (2006) Better be convincing or better be stylish? A theory based multi-agent simulation to explain minority influence in groups via arguments or via peripheral cues. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 9(3), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/9/3/4.html
  54. Moss S (1981) An economic theory of business strategy: an essay in dynamics without equilibrium. Martin Robertson, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  55. Moss S (1995) Control metaphors in the modelling of decision-making behaviour. Comp Econ 8(3):283–301MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  56. Moss S (1998) Critical incident management: an empirically derived computational model. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 2(4), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/1/4/1.html
  57. Moss S (2000) Canonical tasks, environments and models for social simulation. Comp Math Organ Theory 6(3):249–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Moss S (2001) Game theory: limitations and an alternative. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 4(2), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/4/2/2.html
  59. Moss S (2007) Alternative approaches to the empirical validation of agent-based models. Technical report CPM-07-178, Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University, ManchesterGoogle Scholar
  60. Moss S, Edmonds B (1997) A knowledge-based model of context-dependent attribute preferences for fast moving consumer goods. Omega Int J Manage Sci 25(2):155–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Moss S, Edmonds B (2005) Sociology and simulation: statistical and qualitative cross-validation. Am J Sociol 110(4):1095–1131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Moss S, Kuznetsova O (1996) Modelling the process of market emergence. In: Owsinski JW, Nahorski Z (eds) Modelling and analysing economies in transition. MODEST, WarsawGoogle Scholar
  63. Moss S, Gaylard H, Wallis S, Edmonds B (1996) SDML: a multi-agent language for organizational modelling. Comp Math Org Theory 4(1):43–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Mousavi SA (1997) The Hazaras of Afghanistan: an historical, cultural, economic and political study. St. Martin’s Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  65. Neumann FL (1950) Approaches to the study of power. Polit Sci Quart 65(2):161–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Outhwaite W (1987) New philosophies of social science: realism, hermeneutics and critical theory. Macmillan Education, LondonGoogle Scholar
  67. Parsons T (1952) The social system. Tavistock, LondonGoogle Scholar
  68. Popitz H (1992) Phänomene der Macht, 2nd edn. Mohr Siebeck, TübingenGoogle Scholar
  69. Putnam RD (1988) Diplomacy and domestic politics: the logic of two-level games. Int Organ 42(3):427–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rasuly-Paleczek G (1998) Ethnic identity versus nationalism: the Uzbeks of North-Eastern Afghanistan and the Afghan state. In: Atabaki T, O’Kane J (eds) Post-Soviet Central Asia. Tauris Academic Studies, London/New York, pp 204–230Google Scholar
  71. Reno W (1998) Warlord politics and African states. Lynne Rienner, Boulder/LondonGoogle Scholar
  72. Richardson LF (1948) Variation of the frequency of fatal quarrels with magnitude. J Am Stat Assoc 43(244):523–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Rouchier J, Thoyer S (2006) Votes and lobbying in the European decision-making process: application to the European regulation on GMO release. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 9(3), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/9/3/1.html
  74. Rouchier J, O’Connor M, Bousquet F (2001) The creation of a reputation in an artificial society organised by a gift system. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 4(2), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/4/2/8.html
  75. Roy O (1992) Ethnic identity and political expression in Northern Afghanistan. In: Gross J-A (ed) Muslims in Central Asia: expressions of identity and change. Duke University Press, Durham/London, pp 73–86Google Scholar
  76. Roy O (1994) The new political elite of Afghanistan. In: Weiner M, Banuazizi A (eds) The politics of social transformation in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, pp 72–100Google Scholar
  77. Roy O (1995) Afghanistan: from holy war to civil war. The Darwin Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  78. Roy O (1998) Has Islamism a future in Afghanistan? In: Maley W (ed) Fundamentalism reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban. New York University Press, New York, pp 199–211Google Scholar
  79. Rubin BR (1992) Political elites in Afghanistan: Rentier State Building, Rentier State Wrecking. Int J Middle East Stud 24(1):77–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Rubin BR (2007) Saving Afghanistan. Foreign Aff 86(1):57–78Google Scholar
  81. Saam NJ, Harrer A (1999) Simulating norms, social inequality, and functional change in artificial societies. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 2(1), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/2/1/2.html
  82. Sambanis N (2004) Using case studies to expand economic models of civil war. Perspect Polit 2(2):259–279Google Scholar
  83. Sawyer RK (2005) Social emergence, societies as complex systems. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Sayer A (1992) Method in social science: a realist approach, 2nd edn. Routledge, London/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  85. Sayer A (2000) Realism and social science. Sage, London/Thousand Oaks/New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  86. Schelling TC (1998) Social mechanisms and social dynamics. In: Hedström P, Swedberg R (eds) Social mechanism: an analytical approach to social theory. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 32–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Schetter C, Glassner R, Karokhail M (2007) Beyond warlordism: the local security architecture in Afghanistan. Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft 2:136–152Google Scholar
  88. Shahrani MN (1998) The future of state and the structure of community governance in Afghanistan. In: Maley W (ed) Fundamentalism reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban. New York University Press, New York, pp 212–242Google Scholar
  89. Shahrani MN (2002) War, factionalism, and the state in Afghanistan. Am Anthropol 104(3):715–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Shapiro I (2005) The flight from reality in the human sciences. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  91. Silverman D (ed) (2004) Qualitative research: theory, method and practice, 2nd edn. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  92. Snidal D (1985) The game theory of international politics. World Pol 38(1):25–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Sofsky W (2002) Zeiten des Schreckens: Amok, Terror, Krieg. S. Fischer, Frankfurt a.MGoogle Scholar
  94. Stachowiak M (1973) Allgemeine Modelltheorie. Springer, Wien/New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Stakes RE (1978) The case study method in social inquiry. Edu Res 7(2):5–8Google Scholar
  96. Tapper N (1991) Bartered brides: politics, gender and marriage in an Afghan tribal society. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Tapper R (2008) Who are the Kuchi? Nomad self-identities in Afghanistan. J R Anthropol Inst 14:97–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Tarzi SM (1993) Afghanistan in 1992: a Hobbesian state of nature. Asian Surv 33(2):165–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. UNODC (2006) Afghanistan’s drug industry: structure, functioning, dynamics, and implications for counter-narcotics policy. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime/The World BankGoogle Scholar
  100. Weber M (1980) Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft: Grundriss der verstehenden Soziologie, 5th edn. J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), TübingenGoogle Scholar
  101. Weidmann N, Cederman L-E (2005) Geocontest: modeling strategic competition in geopolitical systems. In: Troitzsch K (ed) Proceedings of the European social simulation association annual conference (ESSA 2005). Koblenz, Germany, pp 179–185Google Scholar
  102. Wily LA (2004) Looking for peace on the Pastures: rural land relations in Afghanistan. Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, KabulGoogle Scholar
  103. Younger S (2005) Violence and revenge in Egalitarian societies. J Artif Soc Soc Simul 8(4), http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/8/4/11.html

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scensei, LLCAlexandriaUSA
  2. 2.The School for Conflict Analysis and ResolutionGeorge Mason UniversityArlingtonUSA
  3. 3.Scott Moss AssociatesBrookfoldChapel-en-le-FrithUK

Personalised recommendations