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Political Attitudes: Computational and Simulation Modelling

ISBN: 978-1-118-83321-6
352 pages
June 2016
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Description

Political Science has traditionally employed empirical research and analytical resources to understand, explain and predict political phenomena. One of the long-standing criticisms against empirical modeling targets the static perspective provided by the model-invariant paradigm. In political science research, this issue has a particular relevance since political phenomena prove sophisticated degrees of context-dependency whose complexity could be hardly captured by traditional approaches. To cope with the complexity challenge, a new modeling paradigm was needed. This book is concerned with this challenge. Moreover, the book aims to reveal the power of computational modeling of political attitudes to reinforce the political methodology in facing two fundamental challenges: political culture modeling and polity modeling. The book argues that an artificial polity model as a powerful research instrument could hardly be effective without the political attitude and, by extension, the political culture computational and simulation modeling theory, experiments and practice.

This book:

  • Summarizes the state of the art in computational modeling of political attitudes, with illustrations and examples featured throughout.
  • Explores the different approaches to computational modeling and how the complexity requirements of political science should determine the direction of research and evaluation methods.
  • Addresses the newly emerging discipline of computational political science.
  • Discusses modeling paradigms, agent-based modeling and simulation, and complexity-based modeling.
  • Discusses model classes in the fundamental areas of voting behavior and decision-making, collective action, ideology and partisanship, emergence of social uprisings and civil conflict, international relations, allocation of public resources, polity and institutional function, operation, development and reform, political attitude formation and change in democratic societies.

This book is ideal for students who need a conceptual and operational description of the political attitude computational modeling phases, goals and outcomes in order to understand how political attitudes could be computationally modeled and simulated. Researchers, Governmental and international policy experts will also benefit from this book.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgements xix

Introduction xxi

PART I SOCIAL AND POLITICAL ATTITUDE MODELLING 1

1 Attitudes: A Brief History of the Concept 3

2 Political Attitudes: Conceptual and Computational Modelling Backgrounds 31

PART II SOCIAL AND POLITICAL INFLUENCE MODELS OF ATTITUDE CHANGE 63

3 Voting Choice Computer Simulation Model 65

4 Community Referendum Model 83

PART III THE ROLE OF PHYSICAL SPACE IN POLITICAL ATTITUDE MODELLING 93

5 Social Impact Theory and Model 95

6 Dynamic Social Impact Theory and Model 107

PART IV POLITICAL ATTITUDE APPROACHES BASED ON SOCIAL INFLUENCE, CULTURE CHANGE AND COLLECTIVE ACTION MODELLING 139

7 Culture Dissemination Model 141

8 Diversity Survival Model 147

9 Collective Action Modelling 159

PART V MULTIDIMENSIONAL SPATIAL MODELS 165

10 The System Dynamics Modelling Paradigm 169

11 Multidimensional Attitude Change Models. Galileo 179

PART VI POLITICAL COGNITION MODELLING 189

12 The JQP Model 197

13 Political Attitude Strength Simulation Modelling 211

PART VII COMPUTATIONAL AND SIMULATION MODELLING OF IDEOLOGY 219

14 Ideological Polarization Model 227

15 Ideological Landscapes Model 237

16 Complex Integrative Models of Political Ideology 241

PART VIII POLITY MODELLING 245

17 Polity Instability Models Featuring Ethnic and Nationalist Insurgence 253

18 Polity Instability Model Featuring Reconstruction after State Failure 263

19 Polity Dynamics Model Featuring the Relationship between Public Issue Emergence and Public Policy Development 269

20 Polity Instability Model Featuring Revolution against Authoritarian Regime 277

PART IX EPILOGUE 285

21 Shaping New Science 287

Author Index 293

Subject Index 299

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Author Information

Camelia Florela Voinea, Department of Political Science, International Relations and Security Studies, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

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Reviews

“From the outside the field of political science or studies seems left behind in terms of time, techniques and issues addressed. This book brings together, for the first time, the various strands that together might make up a new direction for the field - that of using computational approaches to understand how political attitudes, beliefs and thinking might result in the macro political outcomes reported in the press and media. There have been some brave researchers who have attempted to introduce computer models in the field, but they have been widely scattered and largely ignored. By bringing together all these approaches within a coherent framework the author shows how much work has been done and its future potential. But she also places these within a systematic framework showing how they might relate. The coverage of this book is astounding, covering history, theoretical bases, cognitive perspective, computational details and all the main approaches that have been developed. This makes the book a valuable reference work, enabling researchers to see the power of the approach and giving them a solid foundation from which to develop future work. “

Dr. Bruce Edmonds
, Research Professor, Director of the Centre for Policy Modelling
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
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