Departmental Papers (ESE)


A holy grail for military, diplomatic, and intelligence analysis is a valid set of software agent models that act as the desired ethno-political factions so that one can test the effects of alternative courses of action in different countries. This article explains StateSim, a country modeling approach that synthesizes best-of-breed theories from across the social sciences and that has helped numerous organizations over 20 years to study insurgents, gray zone actors, and other societal instabilities. The country modeling literature is summarized (Sect 1.1) and synthetic inquiry is contrasted with scientific inquiry (Sect. 1.2 and 2). Section 2 also explains many fielded StateSim applications and 100s of past acceptability tests and validity assessments. Section 3 then describes how users now construct and run ‘first pass’ country models within hours due to the StateSim Generator, while Section 4 offers two country analyses that illustrate this approach. The conclusions explain lessons learned.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation Annual Conference


country modeling, sociological game theory, systems approach, cognitive agents, policy analysis tools



Date Posted: 27 January 2021