The character of future conflicts. Partial report 3. Factors which shape power and mass movements
Publish date: 2003-01-01
Report number: FOI-R--0684--SE
Written in: Swedish
Previous partial reports within the project The Character of Future Conflicts have demonstrated the connection between the flow of funds, the growth of organisations and the occurrence of armed conflicts. These reports have also illustrated how cognitive models affect the analysis of the conflicts, whether consciously or unconsciously. This report includes examples showing the connections between territory, technology, the flow of funds, institutions and, above all, self-replicating social processes. These processes are of a type that could constitute the underlying factors for the growth of mass movements and their radicalisation, the arms race in political correctness as well as the emergence of informer-systems. A speculativeexample is also presented, showing how the phenomena of self-replication could be applied to socalled apocalyptic violence. Some sections of this report describe social phenomena in terms reminiscent of biological processes.The spread of an ideology has for instance been likened to an epidemic. Thereport claims that this could be more than metaphoric, and that models derived from biological science, such as evolutionary epidemiology, can also be relevant when studying conflicts and their causes.