Understanding the Dynamics of Conflict and violence

Cancun, Mexico • 20 Sep 2017

Today’s world instability calls for timely detection of critical transitions that can lead to conflict and violence.  At the Conference on Complex Systems (CCS’17) a special joint satellite session about the dynamics of conflict and violence seen from a complex systems perspective will take place. This satellite session combines both the complex systems perspective on conflict (organised by Ana Isabel Barros from TNO/UvA-Institute of Advanced Study and Ignacio Martinez-Moyano from Argonne National Laboratory/University of Chicago) and on violence (organised by Jesús Espinal Enríquez from the National Institute of Genomic Medicine and Hernán Larralde Ridaura  from the Instituto de Ciencias Fisicas, UNAM).

To engage in a multidisciplinary dialogue related to the causes and effects of violence and conflict in society, scholars and students from all fields, will meet at the Conference on Complex Systems in September 17-22, 2017 in Cancun, Mexico. World instability is a pressing issue in today’s society, and violence—particularly in México—has become one of the most troublesome problems of modern society. Several efforts regarding how to control and prevent violence, and about how to reduce the social and economic impact of violence have been attempted at many different levels. Similarly, the increasing number of conflicts, and their volatility, calls for timely detection of critical transitions that may lead to conflict. Due to the increased levels of conflict and violence in today’s world, not surprisingly, many organizations and agencies are investigating measures to improve their security posture. Although security improvement measures may appear valid and reasonable when analyzed in isolation, they might produce unanticipated effects, counteract other measures, or even harm instead of contributing to increase security, once implemented. This is the nature of complex systems where certain threat vectors are not identified immediately, the actions to counter them take time to be defined, and the consequences of the countermeasures have non-linear and delayed effects on the system.

In order to develop opportunities for enhanced understanding and collaboration between scientists and practitioners in the areas of violence, conflict, defense, security, and complexity, researchers from TNO, UvA-Institute for Advanced Study, Argonne National Laboratory, University of Chicago, National Institute of Genomic Medicine (Mexico), and the Instituto de Ciencias Físicas (UNAM) have joined efforts to organize this satellite session. Participants in this one-day session will explore how complex systems analysis can help dissect and understand the mechanisms responsible for the creation, evolution, and spread of violence and conflict.

Interested in participating and/or submitting a paper? Just send us an email.

The tentative program of the satellite session includes a keynote presentation from Yaneer Bam, several presentations and roundtables, and a forum to work on joint research proposals. A detailed program will be available soon.


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TNO wants to improve equipment and the competencies of personnel and restructure implementation capacity in a revolutionary way, with the goal of more effective, efficient and safe action by the operational... Read more

Dr. Ana Isabel Barros

  • Operational Research
  • Complex systems
  • Intelligence analysis
  • Defence and Security

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