An Inter-group Conflict Model Integrating Perceived Threat, Vested Interests and Alternative Strategies for Cooperation

Abstract

This research is an extension of an inter-group simulation model designed to integrate rational choice concepts with psychological dynamics (Pierce, Boulay and Malioutov, 2012). The preliminary approach modeled conflict between and within groups as multiple dynamic compound Poisson stochastic processes. The model incorporates three sets of players/agents (leaders, fringe leaders and the general public) in each of two arbitrary political groups. A rate of aggressive behavior was specified for each leader dependent on the conditions of three different dimensions: perceived external threat, perceived success of a conflict oriented strategy, and vested interest in a conflict oriented strategy. The extended model incorporates information on alternative strategies for cooperation and the potential impact of this information on leaders’ decisions concerning conflict. The objective of this extension is to incorporate the interaction of alternative strategies of negotiation and conflict. The premise is that different subsets of actors within opposed groups may simultaneously pursue strategies of negotiation and conflict, and moreover, such strategies are generally interrelated. By incorporating interactions between such alternative strategies, the extended model will allow us to model situations such as the potential impact of approaching negotiated solutions on the possible continuation of intergroup conflict. Model simulation results are presented, and empirical support for the elements of the model is available in the RISE poster presentation by Sheila Kohanteb.