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The CHIME ABM explores information distribution networks and agents’ protective decision making in the context of hurricane landfall.
This study investigates a possible nexus between inter-group competition and intra-group cooperation, which may be called “tribalism.” Building upon previous studies demonstrating a relationship between the environment and social relations, the present research incorporates a social-ecological model as a mediating factor connecting both individuals and communities to the environment. Cyclical and non-cyclical fluctuation in a simple, two-resource ecology drive agents to adopt either “go-it-alone” or group-based survival strategies via evolutionary selection. Novelly, this simulation employs a multilevel selection model allowing group-level dynamics to exert downward selective pressures on individuals’ propensity to cooperate within groups. Results suggest that cooperation and inter-group conflict are co-evolved in a triadic relationship with the environment. Resource scarcity increases inter-group competition, especially when resources are clustered as opposed to widely distributed. Moreover, the tactical advantage of cooperation in the securing of clustered resources enhanced selective pressure on cooperation, even if that implies increased individual mortality for the most altruistic warriors. Troubling, these results suggest that extreme weather, possibly as a result of climate change, could exacerbate conflict in sensitive, weather-dependent social-ecologies—especially places like the Horn of Africa where ecologically sensitive economic modalities overlap with high-levels of diversity and the wide-availability of small arms. As well, global development and foreign aid strategists should consider how plans may increase the value of particular locations where community resources are built or aid is distributed, potentially instigating tribal conflict. In sum, these factors, interacting with pre-existing social dynamics dynamics, may heighten inter-ethnic or tribal conflict in pluralistic but otherwise peaceful communities.
For special issue submission in JASSS.
The purpose of the presented ABM is to explore how system resilience is affected by external disturbances and internal dynamics by using the stylized model of an agricultural land use system.
We explore land system resilience with a stylized land use model in which agents’ land use activities are affected by external shocks, agent interactions, and endogenous feedbacks. External shocks are designed as yield loss in crops, which is ubiquitous in almost every land use system where perturbations can occur due to e.g. extreme weather conditions or diseases. Agent interactions are designed as the transfer of buffer capacity from farmers who can and are willing to provide help to other farmers within their social network. For endogenous feedbacks, we consider land use as an economic activity which is regulated by markets — an increase in crop production results in lower price (a negative feedback) and an agglomeration of a land use results in lower production costs for the land use type (a positive feedback).
The objective of the model is to evaluate the impact of seasonal forecasts on a farmer’s net agricultural income when their crop choices have different and variable costs and returns.