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The Decline of Power:
A complex problem of
multiple scales
Luis CASASUS
Polytechnic University of
Madrid,Spain
Rielo Insti...
Thesis:
We show how Decline of Power can be
explained or at least illustrated by the
interplay between Influence and Power...
Outline of the Presentation
1. What is power?
2. Decline of Power according to
Moisés Naím and other authors.
3. An interp...
1. What is power?
*Power is an important and elusive concept.
Difficult conceptualization and measurement.
*Alvin Toffler:...
1. What is power?
Power is the ability to act or the ability to
get someone to do something you want done.
Power is the ab...
Outline of the Presentation
1. What is power?
2. Decline of Power according to
Moisés Naím and other authors.
3. An interp...
2. Decline of Power according to
Moisés Naím and other authors.
According to Naím, Power operates through
four channels:

...
2. Decline of Power according to
Moisés Naím and other authors.
According to Naím, Power operates through
four channels:

...
Outline of the Presentation
1. What is power?
2. Decline of Power according to
Moisés Naím and other authors.
3. An interp...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.

Probably, the main contribution of Naím is his
clever analysis of the effe...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
-Quantitative modelsMany different approaches:
Phase Plane
Probability Theo...
3. An interpretation and a quantitative model.

The Social Phase Plane (Wang & Jiang, 2013)
represents the comprehensive n...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
Note that the three revolutions

More + Mobility + Mentality
represent prop...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
We now derive a family of models taking
into account the evolution of both
...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
These models are: reactive-diffusive,
nonlinear, and time-dependent.
Diffus...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
*The effect of barriers is represented
in the coefficients a, b, c,d and e ...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
Dependence of initial conditions.
Dependence of boundary conditions.
Dr. Co...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.

It really depends on the
coefficients!
And coefficients in turn depend on
...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
Some simulations

1/4

The big fish eats the small fish…at least for now
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
Some simulations

2/4

1.4
1

1.4

0.9

1.2
1.2

0.8

1

1

0.8

0.8

0.7
0...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
Some simulations
5

3/4

4

4.5

3.5

4

3

3.5
3

2.5

2.5

2

2
1.5

1.5
...
3. An interpretation and a
quantitative model.
Some simulations

4/4

4

6

3.5

5

3
2.5

4

2

3
50
2

1.5

40

60

1

3...
Outline of the Presentation
1. What is power?
2. Decline of Power according to
Moisés Naím and other authors.
3. An interp...
4. Conclusions
Naím’s book is full of illustrative examples
suggesting the plausibility of his arguments
regarding a possi...
Thank you! luis.casasus@upm.es
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The Decline of Power 2013: A complex problem of multiple scales

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The Decline of Power 2013: A complex problem of multiple scales

  1. 1. The Decline of Power: A complex problem of multiple scales Luis CASASUS Polytechnic University of Madrid,Spain Rielo Institute for Integral Development Monday November 4th2013 United Nations, New York
  2. 2. Thesis: We show how Decline of Power can be explained or at least illustrated by the interplay between Influence and Power leading to the appearance of new actors in the various scales of decision-making and power-holding. . A simple nonlinear model is proposed to analyze this process from the viewpoint of complexity.
  3. 3. Outline of the Presentation 1. What is power? 2. Decline of Power according to Moisés Naím and other authors. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. 4. Conclusions.
  4. 4. 1. What is power? *Power is an important and elusive concept. Difficult conceptualization and measurement. *Alvin Toffler: violence, wealth and knowledge. *Keith Dowding: outcome and social power. *Hard power and soft power. *Who is the power holder? Individual, group, political party,…
  5. 5. 1. What is power? Power is the ability to act or the ability to get someone to do something you want done. Power is the ability to direct or prevent the current of future actions of other groups or individuals. Influence is the ability to affect the behaviors of others in a particular direction. Power is the potential or capacity to influence.
  6. 6. Outline of the Presentation 1. What is power? 2. Decline of Power according to Moisés Naím and other authors. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. 4. Conclusions.
  7. 7. 2. Decline of Power according to Moisés Naím and other authors. According to Naím, Power operates through four channels: Muscle + Code + Pitch + Reward Coertion Moral Obligation Persuasion
  8. 8. 2. Decline of Power according to Moisés Naím and other authors. According to Naím, Power operates through four channels: Muscle + Code + Pitch + Reward And three revolutions seek to reduce the barriers that protect those channels: More + Mobility + Mentality
  9. 9. Outline of the Presentation 1. What is power? 2. Decline of Power according to Moisés Naím and other authors. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. 4. Conclusions.
  10. 10. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. Probably, the main contribution of Naím is his clever analysis of the effects of the three revolutions. And possibly the main work is left to do: How do we positively manage More + Mobility + Mentality? Complexity of the individual is awesome and a reliable model of person is necessary to bring about a better understanding of Mentality revolution, including spiritual, educational and family factors. This is one of the goals of RIID.
  11. 11. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. -Quantitative modelsMany different approaches: Phase Plane Probability Theory Theory of Games Network Analysis Graph Theory…
  12. 12. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. The Social Phase Plane (Wang & Jiang, 2013) represents the comprehensive national power model with time delays. Social development region, Social turbulence region and Social collapse Region can be seen. Development
  13. 13. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. Note that the three revolutions More + Mobility + Mentality represent properties of micro-agents and this naturally leads to a multiscale approach: Properties of micro-agents Properties of groups
  14. 14. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. We now derive a family of models taking into account the evolution of both Influence and Power. Each point (x,y) of the plane represents a micro-agent. Power of a group is represented as a “hill” on the plane. Thus we follow a multiscale approach.
  15. 15. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. These models are: reactive-diffusive, nonlinear, and time-dependent. Diffusion Reaction + Diffusion
  16. 16. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model.
  17. 17. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model.
  18. 18. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model.
  19. 19. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. *The effect of barriers is represented in the coefficients a, b, c,d and e and possibly in their dependence of time. *The effect of influence is mainly repressive. *This model does not distinguish between the four channels of Power. *Has the total power a constant value? *How it disappears?
  20. 20. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. Dependence of initial conditions. Dependence of boundary conditions. Dr. Colasanti’s question: The Decline of Power: a Symptom of a Growing Disease or a Sign of Transformation?... A (necessarily) modest and prudent answer:
  21. 21. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. It really depends on the coefficients! And coefficients in turn depend on our model of Person and a suitable concept for Power.
  22. 22. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. Some simulations 1/4 The big fish eats the small fish…at least for now
  23. 23. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. Some simulations 2/4 1.4 1 1.4 0.9 1.2 1.2 0.8 1 1 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2 0 0 50 50 0 50 40 40 40 30 30 30 20 20 20 10 10 10 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 0 0 10 20 30 40 Two gangs share the cake…a third one is not allowed 50
  24. 24. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. Some simulations 5 3/4 4 4.5 3.5 4 3 3.5 3 2.5 2.5 2 2 1.5 1.5 1 1 0.5 0.5 0 50 0 50 40 40 30 30 20 20 10 10 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 0 0 5 10 15 Few people with great power … and many people with some power 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
  25. 25. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. Some simulations 4/4 4 6 3.5 5 3 2.5 4 2 3 50 2 1.5 40 60 1 30 1 20 10 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 0 45 50 40 0.5 20 0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Three “clusters” of Power interacting 40 45 0 50
  26. 26. Outline of the Presentation 1. What is power? 2. Decline of Power according to Moisés Naím and other authors. 3. An interpretation and a quantitative model. 4. Conclusions.
  27. 27. 4. Conclusions Naím’s book is full of illustrative examples suggesting the plausibility of his arguments regarding a possible End of Power. One of the fascinating issues is the subtle interdependence of the changing (emerging, disappearing,…) subjects of Power at different scales of size and time. This has been partly reflected in our simple model.
  28. 28. Thank you! luis.casasus@upm.es

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