Timothy Clancy's PhD colloquium: Lifecycle of Violence and Instability of Non-State Actors

Please join us for Timothy Clancy’s dissertation defense on April 20, 2022 at 1 pm in Unity Hall 405 or via Zoom at https://wpi.zoom.us/j/2423620791

Candidate: Timothy Clancy

Doctoral Program Committee:

Professor Khalid Saeed, SSPS, WPI (chair)

Professor Oleg Pavlov, SSPS, WPI

Professor Bland Addison, HUA, WPI


Title: Lifecycle of Violence and Instability of Non-State Actors


This dissertation explores fundamental questions about reducing the lifecycle of violence and instability of non-state actors. These questions are addressed to two classes of problems:


1) Violence arising from individuals or disconnected small groups that threaten lives but are unlikely to threaten the state and operate outside a conflict zone


2) Larger, more organized non-state actors presenting a mid-to-high risk to the state created or operating within conflict zones


System dynamics models are developed and experimented with to explore both questions. Several hypothesis addressing the two classes of problems are tested. It is inferred that reducing violence and instability requires understanding violence and instability as a complex system in which perceived grievance determines the system's carrying capacity, and the legitimacy of state as well as non-state actors determines growth dynamics. Policy interventions ignoring these constructs can be ineffective and risk creating cyclical patterns of violence. The dissertation is presented as a series of five stand-alone papers, three of which are already published.

All interested are invited to attend on April 20, 2022 at 1 pm in Unity Hall 405. The colloquium is also accessible via Zoom at https://wpi.zoom.us/j/2423620791