Political Attitudes: Computational and Simulation Modelling

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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.

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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