Modeling Conflicts Between States: New Developments for an Old Problem

  • Tshilidzi Marwala
  • Monica Lagazio
Part of the Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing book series (AI&KP)


This chapter reviews the evolution of academic research on interstate conflicts. In particular, the emphasis is on the methodological development that has happened through the analysis of interstate conflicts as a scientific phenomenon in the political science discipline. Key empirical findings and theoretical contributions that this change has produced are also emphasized. In addition, the chapter makes the case for the use of computational intelligence for modeling conflicts as a way to overcome some limitations of previous work and unpacks the complexity that is inherent in dispute behavior. The data set used for the analysis in this book is also explained in detail.


Computational Intelligence International Conflict Conflict Behavior Militarize Conflict Economic Interdependence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Achen, C.: Toward a new political methodology: microfoundations and ART. Ann. Rev. Polit. Sci. 5, 423–450 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Babst, D.: A force for peace. Ind. Res. 14, 55 (1972)Google Scholar
  3. Barbieri, K.: Economic interdependence: a path to peace or a source of interstate conflicts? J. Peace Res. 33, 29–50 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barbieri, K., Peters, R.A.: Measure for mis-measure: a response to Gartzke and Li. J. Peace Res. 40, 713–720 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beck, N., Katz, J.: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater: a comment on Green, Kim, and Yoon. Int. Organ. 55, 487–495 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beck, N., Katz, J., Tucker, R.: Taking time seriously in binary time-series-cross-section analysis. Am. J. Polit. Sci. 42, 1260–1288 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Beck, N., King, G., Zheng, L.: Improving quantitative studies of international conflict: a conjecture. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 94, 21–35 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Beck, N., King, G., Zheng, L.: Theory and evidence in international conflict: a response to de Marchi, Gelpi and Grynaviski. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 98, 379–389 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bennett, D.S., Stam, A.C.: Research design and estimator choices for analyzing interstate dyads: when decisions matter. J. Conflict Resolut. 44, 653–679 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bezdek, J.C.: What Is Computational Intelligence? Computational Intelligence Imitating Life. IEEE Press, New York (1994)Google Scholar
  11. Boehmer, C., Gartzke, E., Nordstrom, T.: Do intergovernmental organizations promote peace? World Polit. 57, 1–38 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bremer, S.A.: Dangerous dyads: conditions affecting the likelihood of interstate war. J. Conflict Res. 36, 309–341 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bueno de Mesquita, B., Lalman, D.: War and Reason: Domestic and International Imperatives. Yale University Press, New Haven (1992)Google Scholar
  14. Bueno de Mesquita, B., Ray, J.L.: The national interest versus individual political ambition: democracy, autocracy, and the reciprocation of force and violence in militarized interstate dispute. In: Diehl, P.F. (ed.) The Scourge of War: New Extensions on an Old Problem. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor (2004)Google Scholar
  15. Bueno de Mesquita, B., Siverson, R.: War and the survival of political leaders: a comparative study of regime types and political accountability. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 89, 841–855 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chernoff, F.: The study of democratic peace and progress in international relations. Int. Stud. Perspect. 6, 49–77 (2004)Google Scholar
  17. Coppola Jr., E., Szidarovszky, F.: Conflict between water supply and environmental health risk: a computational neural network approach. Int. Game Theory Rev. 6, 475–492 (2004)MathSciNetMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Craenen, B., Eiben, A.: Computational Intelligence. Encyclopedia of Life Support Sciences. EOLSS Co. Ltd., Oxford (2002)Google Scholar
  19. De Marchi, S., Gelpi, C.F., Grynaviski, J.D.: Untangling neural nets. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 98, 371–378 (2004)Google Scholar
  20. de Vries, M.: Interdependence, co-operation and conflict: an empirical analysis. J. Peace Res. 27, 429–444 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Deutsch, K., Singer, J.D.: Multipolar power systems and international stability. World Polit. 16, 390–406 (1964)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dixon, W.: Democracy and the management of international conflict. J. Conflict Resolut. 37, 42–68 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Domke, W.: War and the Changing Global System. Yale University Press, New Haven (1988)Google Scholar
  24. Doyle, M.: Kant, liberal legacies, and foreign policy: part 1. Philos. Public Aff. 12, 205–235 (1983)Google Scholar
  25. Doyle, M.: Liberalism and world politics. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 80, 1151–1169 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Duch, W.: What is computational intelligence and where is it going? In: Duch, W., Mańdziuk, J. (eds.) Challenges for Computational Intelligence. Springer, Berlin (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Eberhart, R., Shi, Y.: Computational Intelligence: Concepts to Implementations. Morgan Kaufmann, Burlington (2007)MATHGoogle Scholar
  28. Ember, C., Melvin, E., Bruce, R.: Peace between participatory polities: a cross-national test of the “democracies rarely fight each other” hypothesis. World Polit. 44, 573–599 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Farber, H., Gowa, J.: Polities and peace. Int. Security. 20, 123–146 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gasiorowski, M., Polacheck, S.W.: Conflict and interdependence: east-west trade and linkages in the era of détente. J. Conflict Res. 26, 709–729 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Geller, D.S., Singer, D.: Nations at War: A Scientific Study of Int Conflicts. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gelpi, C., Grieco, J.M.: Democracy, trade and the sources of the liberal peace. J. Peace Res. 45, 327–344 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gleditsch, N.P., Hegre, H.: Peace and democracy: three levels of analysis. J. Conflict Resolut. 41, 283–310 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Goertz, G.: Contexts of International Politics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Goetz, G., Diehl, P.: Territorial Changes and International Conflicts. Routledge, London (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gowa, J.: Democratic states and international disputes. Int. Organ. 49, 511–522 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gowa, J.: Ballots and Bullets: The Elusive Democratic Peace. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1999)Google Scholar
  38. Gowa, J., Mansfield, E.: Power politics and international trade. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 87, 408–420 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Green, D., Kim, S.Y., Yoon, D.: Dirty pool. Int. Organ. 55, 441–468 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Iswaran, N., Percy, D.F.: Conflict analysis using bayesian neural networks and generalized linear models. J. Op. Res. Soc. 61, 332–341 (2010)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Keohane, R., Nye, J.S.: Power and Interdependence. Scott, Foresman, Glenview (1989)Google Scholar
  42. Kim, S.Y.: Ties that bind: The role of trade in international conflict processes, 1950–1992. Paper presented at the American Political Science Association, Boston, 3–7 Sept 1998Google Scholar
  43. King, G.: Proper nouns and methodological propriety: pooling dyads in international relations data. Int. Organ. 55, 497–507 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. King, G., Keohane, R., Verba, S.: Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1994)Google Scholar
  45. Kocs, S.: Territorial disputes and interstate war, 1945–1987. J. Polit. 57, 159–175 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lagazio, M., Marwala, T.: Assessing different bayesian neural network models for militarised interstate dispute outcome and variable influence. Social Sci. Comput. Rev. 24, 119–131 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lagazio, M., Russett, B.: A neural network analysis of militarized international disputes, 1985–1992: temporal stability and causal complexity. In: Diehl, P.F. (ed.) The Scourge of War: New Extensions on an Old Problem. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor (2004)Google Scholar
  48. Layne, C.: Kant or cant: the myth of the democratic peace. Int. Security. 19, 5–49 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Lemke, D.: The tyranny of distance: redefining relevant dyads. Int. Interact. 21, 23–38 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lemke, D., Reed, W.: Regime types and status quo evaluations: power transition theory and the democratic peace. Int. Interact. 22, 143–164 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Leng, R., Singer, J.D.: A multitheoretical typology of international behavior. In: Bunge, M., Galtun, J., Malitza, M. (eds.) Mathematical Approaches to Intl Relations. Romanian Academy of Social and Political Sciences, Bucharest (1977)Google Scholar
  52. Levy, J.: Reflections on the scientific study of war. In: Vasquez, J.A. (ed.) What Do We Know About War? Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham (2000)Google Scholar
  53. Mansfield, E.: Power, Trade, and War. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1994)Google Scholar
  54. Maoz, Z.: Realist and cultural critiques of the democratic peace: a theoretical and empirical re-assessment. Int. Interact. 24, 1–89 (1998)Google Scholar
  55. Maoz, Z.: Dyadic Militarized Interstate Disputes (DYMID1.1) Dataset-Version 1.1. Password protected (1999). Last Accessed Aug 2000
  56. Maoz, Z., Abdolali, N.: Regime types and international conflict. J. Conflict Resolut. 33, 3–35 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Maoz, Z., Russett, B.: Alliance, contiguity, wealth, and political stability: is the lack of conflict among democracies a statistical artifact? Int. Interact. 17, 245–268 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Maoz, Z., Russett, B.: Normative and structural causes of democratic peace, 1946–1986. Am. Polit. Sci. Rev. 87, 624–638 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Mearsheimer, J.J.: The false promise of international institutions. Int. Security. 19, 5–49 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Morgan, C., Howard, C.S.: Domestic structure, decisional constraints, and war: so why Kant democracies fight. J. Conflict Resolut. 35, 187–211 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Morgan, C., Schwebach, V.: Take two democracies and call me in the morning: a prescription for peace? Int. Interact. 17, 305–320 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Mubareka, S., Ehrlich, D.: Identifying and modelling environmental indicators for assessing population vulnerability to conflict using ground and satellite data. Ecol. Indic. 10, 493–503 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Oneal, J.R.: Confirming the liberal peace with analyses of directed dyads. In: Starr, H. (ed.) Crossing Boundaries: Internal-External Approaches, Levels and Methods of Analysis in International Politics, pp. 1885–2001. Palgrave Macmillan, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  64. Oneal, J., Russett, B.: The classical liberals were right: democracy, interdependence, and conflict, 1950–1985. Int. Stud. Quart. 41, 267–294 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Oneal, J., Russett, B.: Is the liberal peace just an artefact of cold war interests? Assessing recent critiques. Int. Interact. 25, 213–241 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Oneal, J., Russett, B.: Clear and clean: the fixed effects of democracy and economic interdependence. Int. Organ. 52, 469–486 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Oneal, J., Russett, B.: Rule of three, let it be? When more really is better. Conflict Manag. Peace Sci. 22, 293–310 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Oneal, J., Russett, B.: Seeking peace in a post-cold war world of hegemony and terrorism. In: Russett, B. (ed.) Policy and Purpose in the Global Community. Palgrave Macmillan, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  69. Oneal, J., Oneal, F., Maoz, Z., Russett, B.: The liberal peace: interdependence, democracy, and international conflict, 1950–1985. J. Peace Res. 33, 21 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Oneal, J., Russett, B., Berbaum, M.: Causes of peace: democracy, interdependence, and international organizations, 1985–1992. Int. Stud. Q. 47, 371–494 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Papayoanou, P.: Interdependence, institutions, and the balance of power. Int. Security. 20, 42–76 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Papayoanou, P.: Economic interdependence and the balance of power. Int. Stud. Quart. 41, 120–131 (1997)Google Scholar
  73. Pevehouse, J., Russett, B.: Democratic international governmental organizations promote peace. Int. Organ. 60, 969–1000 (2005)Google Scholar
  74. Polacheck, S.: Conflict and trade: an economics approach to political international interactions. In: Isard, W., Anderton, C.H. (eds.) Economics of Arms Reduction and the Peace Process. North Holland, Amsterdam (1992)Google Scholar
  75. Poole, D., Mackworth, A., Goebel, R.: Computational Intelligence – A Logical Approach. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1998)MATHGoogle Scholar
  76. Ragin, C.: The Comparative Method: Moving beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies. University of California Press, Berkeley (1987)Google Scholar
  77. Ray, J.L.: Explaining interstate conflict and war: what should be controlled for? Conflict Manag. Peace Sci. 20, 1–32 (2003)Google Scholar
  78. Ray, J.L.: Constructing multivariate analyses (of dangerous dyads). Conflict Manag. Peace Sci 22, 277–292 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Reuveny, R., Kang, H.: International trade, political conflict/cooperation, and Granger causality. Am. J. Polit. Sci. 40, 943–970 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Richardson, L.: Statistics of Deadly Quarrel. Boxwood Press, Pittsburgh (1960)Google Scholar
  81. Ripley, B.: Statistical aspects of neural networks. In: Barndorff-Nielsen, O.E., Jensen, J.L., Kendall, W.S. (eds.) Network and Chaos-Statistical and Probabilistic Aspects. Chapman & Hall, London (1993)Google Scholar
  82. Root-Bernstein, R.: How scientists really think. Perspect. Biol. Med. 32, 472–488 (1989)Google Scholar
  83. Rosenau, J.M.: Citizenship in a changing global order. In: Rosenau, J.M., Czempiel, E. (eds.) Governance Without Government. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Rummel, R.J.: Understanding Conflict and War: War, Power, Peace. Sage, Beverly Hills (1979)Google Scholar
  85. Russett, B., Antholis, W.: Do democracies fight each other? Evidence from the peloponnesian war. J. Peace Res. 29, 415–434 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Russett, B., Oneal, J.R.: Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations. W. W. Norton, New York (2001)Google Scholar
  87. Sarle, W.: Neural network and statistical models. In: Proceedings of the 19th Annual SAS Users Group International Conference, Dallas. pp. 1–13 (1994)Google Scholar
  88. Schweller, R.L., Priess, D.: A Tale of Two Realisms: Expanding the Institutions Debate. Mershon Int. Stud. Review. 41, 2 (1997)Google Scholar
  89. Signorino, C.S., Yilmaz, K.: Strategic misspecification in regression models. Am. J. Polit. Sci. 47, 551–566 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Singer, J.D.: The level-of-analysis problem in international relations. In: Knorr, K., Verba, S. (eds.) The International System: Theoretical Essays. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1961)Google Scholar
  91. Singer, J.D., Small, M.: The Wages of War, 1816–1965: A Statistical Handbook. Wiley, New York (1972)Google Scholar
  92. Siverson, R., Starr, H.: Diffusion of War: A Study of Opportunity and Willingness. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor (1991)Google Scholar
  93. Small, M., Singer, J.D.: The war-proneness of democratic regimes. Jerusalem J. Int. Relat. 1, 50–69 (1976)Google Scholar
  94. Spiro, D.: The insignificance of the liberal peace. Int. Security. 19, 50–86 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Stein, A.: Governments, economic interdependence, and international cooperation. In: Tetlock, P., Husbands, J., Jervis, R., Stern, P., Tilly, C. (eds.) Behavior, Society, and International Conflict. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1993)Google Scholar
  96. Thompson, W.R., Tucker, R.: A tale of two democratic peace critiques. J. Conflict Res. 41, 428–454 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Tiao, G.C., Tsay, R.S.: Some advances in non-linear and adaptive modelling in time-series. J. Forecasting. 13, 109–131 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Vasquez, J.: The War Puzzle. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Waltz, K.: Theory of International Politics. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1979)Google Scholar
  100. Weart, S.: Peace among democratic and oligarchic republics. J. Peace Res. 31, 299–316 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Weede, E.: Democracy and war involvement. J. Conflict Resolut. 28, 649–664 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Weede, E.: Some simple calculations on democracy and war involvement. J. Peace Res. 29, 377–383 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Zadeh, L.A.: Roles of soft computing and fuzzy logic in the conception, design and deployment of information / intelligent systems. In: Kaynak, O., Zadeh, L.A., Turksen, B., Rudas, I.J. (eds.) Computational Intelligence: Soft Computing and Fuzzy-Neuro Integration with Applications. Springer, Berlin (1998)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations