Catalonia, Brexit: Is it mass hysteria?

catalonia

What problem will be solved?

Great Britain, Catalonia, Scotland, Poland, etc. have one thing in common: All these states – for whatever reason – now emphasise their autonomy – independence – from an ‘order’ (‘Europe’) they all are an integral part of, and for their security and well-being highly dependent on.

The integration of Europe, came at a high price, and has brought evident advantages, to all.

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The international order: From mutualistic to parasitic?

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Our understanding of biology, ecology, ecosystems etc. is far more advanced than our understanding of social systems. The relationship between the structure and dynamics of ecosystems is extensively researched. The use of the scientific method by these disciplines explains their valuable insights and their progress.

Biology, ecology and ecosystem theory also offer interesting insights and concepts to improve our understanding of social systems.

Symbiosis – and mutualism, commensalism and parasitism – are such concepts.

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Applying network science to current developments: With the election of Trump, Al-Qaeda achieved its objective

network

In this article, I apply insights in the relationships between network topology and ‘error and attack’ tolerance of networks to the dynamics of the System.

The (current) decoupling (disconnecting) of the United States from the international order can be interpreted as a response to the attack of Al-Qaeda on the WTC in New York, September 11, 2001.

The attack has set in motion – and has shaped – a series of responses from the United States (an attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, an attack on Iraq in 2003, etc.) and events that then followed (the Arab Spring, the collapse of states in the Middle East, terrorist attacks, the fragmentation of Europe).

Despite the efforts of president Obama of the United States (2008-2016), the United states – as the most central and dominant state in the international network – was not able to maintain its own and the System’s stability and coherence.

In response, the United States in 2016 (under president Trump) de facto ‘decoupled‘ from the international order, in efforts to promote its own – now narrowly defined – interests (America First).

Insights in network dynamics help explain (from a network perspective) what the impact is on the stability of the (global) System when the United States disengages – decouples – from the international order.

Not surprisingly, the decoupling causes the fragmentation of the international order, and consequently states and radical communities will intensify their efforts to shape local and regional issues in accordance with their own interests as well (and by doing so, confirm Trump’s self fulfilling prophecy).

In this article, I explain the impact of the ‘decoupling’ of the United States from the international order from a network perspective.

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