Global Modeling: Origins, Assessment and Alternative Futures Richard W. Chadwick



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Realism or Idealism?
Among international relations scholars there is a similar dichotomy between "realists" and "idealists." An aspect of the realist paradigm in assessing situations and appropriate policies is the assumption that you cannot change the course of history, but you can change whether you is on the winning or losing side by an appropriate maneuver. The idealist, on the other hand, keeps a firm fix on their vision of a desirable future and struggles by all means available to attain it. "Let's find some land," says the realist captain in a dangerous storm; "No, let's stay the course!" replies the idealist.
Who is right? Facts, knowledge, experience, skill, risk-taking tolerance, and authority position all come into play. Global modelers write about the fate or destiny of humanity. The Meadows team twice (1972, 1992) and Mesarovic and Pestel (1974) have written about the tremendous life and death responsibility of the world's leaders from now through the 21st century because of the potential for global cataclysm. Speaking to business and finance communities, not to global political leaders, the Link project and FUGI modelers are much more circumspect and narrowly focused on profitability and financial stability questions. Perhaps those who focus on environmental dynamics like the Club of Rome teams, tend towards the idealistic because they recognize and focus on measuring the potential for long-term threats to human existence. They try to model it and alternatives, whereas those who focus on economics and investment strategy in a realist mode simply do not have either the relevant data modeled nor the time frame needed to get a grip on the survival problem.
The Town/Gown Gap
Another problem emerged in addition to the above, not epitomized by a particular global modeling team, but one uncovered in interviews conducted by the G-MAPP (Global Models and the Policy Process) Project at the East-West Center. Its first coordinator, Dr. Don MacRae, from 1980 to the beginning of 1981 (I coordinated the G-MAPP Project from mid-1981 to the end of the project in December 1983), worked with Sripada Raju to assess relations between policy makers and global modelers. They found a wide gap between what policy makers perceived the value of global modeling to be, and what global modelers thought that policy makers wanted (Raju and MacRae, 1981).
Over the two decades preceding this study and the nearly two decades that have followed, I do not see that much has changed. In my own experience with Guetzkow's INS and his SIP (Simulated International Processes) Project in the early 1960s, I recall Col. Thane Minor, then with the JCS, once giving SIP several boxes of Hollerith (IBM) cards containing Clark Abt's TEMPER (Technological, Economic, Military, Political, Evaluation Routine) model. He asked Guetzkow if someone on the project could evaluate TEMPER and extract from it a model that might be useful. The Pentagon had wanted a checklist that a battlefield commander in Vietnam could use to decide on the most effective strategy in an area, Minor said as I recall, and instead Abt had given them over 2,000 variables! Mike White took on the task as a summer project; at the end he quipped, as I recall, that all he really could figure out was how Abt's mind worked.
A second situation: my understanding is that sometime after Margaret Thatcher took office as P.M., the SARU team was asked to come in and tell her what global modeling was about and why it was useful. As I have been given to understand it, the team members present began to explain to her the systems dynamics approach. After patiently listening for perhaps fifteen minutes, I understand that she told them they were all fired but they had a year to find jobs, and she got up and left the room.
Another anecdote from G-MAPP days: I was told that in the early years of the Indian Planning Commission, when Nehru was head of the government and Mahalanobis head of the Commission, the modeler and the statesman got along just fine. This was because Mahalanobis would reply to a policy question by asking for a few days or a week or two to work on it, then present to Nehru alternatives, each of which had consequences. This simple "if you do this, that will happen; if you do this other, this other will happen" approach worked just fine. By contrast, Truman used to joke, "I'd like to chop off the right hand of every economist; they are always telling me, on the one hand this and on the other hand, that!"
How true these anecdotes are, is difficult for me to document today; I use them to make a simple point that was echoed in the G-MAPP survey conclusions: global modelers need a far better, systematic education as to how to deal with policy formulators and policy makers. And policy analysts and leaders need a seminar or "debriefing" on the value of global modeling and the modelers. Both can be taught. But modelers especially need training in their own art. Global modelers are in roughly the same position that urban planners were before there were academic centers and departments of urban planning. Some global modelers are probably doing things that are analogous to the early planning of cities that by most accounts unintentionally created high rise slums and high crime rates.
The need for such education and training is obvious when one reviews the policy orientation of the Meadows (1972, 1992) and Mesarovic (1974) teams. After pointing to the grave potential for disasters such as population disease and death due to a Mathusian future of scarcity and population growth checked only by starvation, they proceed to call for global planning for birth control and capital control. Politicians generally wrote them off because the option of creating a world vision with policy teeth in it just wasn't realistic. The military intelligence and policy formulation communities on the other hand, paid a great deal of attention (for a small personal sample, see Chadwick, 1986) and continue to do so today, because if crises are likely to occur the security communities must be prepared to cope with them. For instance, the current concern in the "MIC" is with regime instability. "Instability analysis" and "instability workshops" in the post-Cold War era remind me of the 1970s after the Kent State University killing. Then, "civil strife" became the research "buzz" word and millions of dollars could be found for research promises of quantified estimates of how much, when, where, by whom, and under what conditions civil strife was likely to break out. Until global modeling is sufficiently comprehensive and produces sufficiently "stable" models, modelers are likely to continue similarly to be pushed and pulled in various theoretical and applied directions, but contribute little by way of "value added."

Some Proposals
I would like to put some of my conclusions into the form of proposals. Global modeling has grown very fast since the advent of the mainframe and the PC and now the Internet. But there is no academic home for this new discipline. Many of the problems with global modeling and among global modelers and between them and policy formulating communities stem from lack of formal study of global modeling in a academic environment. Insensitivity to paradigmatic framework, inappropriate application, and above all, unnecessarily cantankerous dialog between policy formulators and makers on the one hand, and global modelers on the other, could be obviated by better education.
So I am proposing that modelers out there make a serious and sustained effort to create yet another field of specialization recognized in academe, and pursue the creation of centers and institutes and departments of global modeling, as well as a journal, a professional society, and a publicly available database. Here are some details. The basic courses should include the science of global modeling, the policy-making context (praxis) of global modeling, the philosophy of global modeling, and the methodology of global modeling. There then should follow specialized courses in each, and these should be complemented with lists of courses in cognate fields in the social and physical sciences. Corresponding coursework should be developed at the graduate level (M.A. and Ph.D.). Further, at least one journal of global modeling should be founded, although eventually there might perhaps be four such journals dealing with the science, practice, philosophy, and methodology of global modeling. Some foundation should be approached for seed money to initiate this effort at one university or a few more, to serve as a model for others. A professional society should be created with an online global modeling database for models, documentation, discussion, and for empirical data archives. I suggested the latter in 1984 at an IEA (International Economics Association) meeting in Stockholm when I was affiliated with the World Model Project at the University of Groningen. Alas, to no avail; the IEA effort was agreed to, then deflected, and the leadership of the World Model Project limited their vision to their resources. The fact is, all sorts of national and transnational organizations need national and global data in spreadsheet format to conduct longitudinal research on global system and subsystem dynamics. It needs to be permanently and publicly available, and "cleaned up" since there are metric and collecting idiosyncrasies within and between national account and other statistical series. Many organizations such as the UN and OECD do much of this work and do not make it public for reasons ultimately of political and economic advantage and agreements made with data donors.
This is not the first time some such recommendations have been made. Harold Lasswell, for instance, conceived of a “social planetarium” (Lasswell, 1963), a idea that has found a new and sympathetic audience (Warfield, 1998). And Forrester himself has become an advocate of a revolution in education (Forrester, 1998).
Another proposal is of a more theoretical nature. Global modeling as mentioned earlier straddles three paradigms, those of science, praxis, and philosophy. We need models that not only project “drift” states (system tendencies excepting exogenous change), but also guide policy analysis by suggesting alternative goals and means. As regards goals for instance, Maslow (1954) suggested a basic needs approach that could be modeled (recall his hierarchy of needs: survival, security, belongingness, self-esteem and self-actualization). Bremer (1977) came close to embodying such an approach with his definition of security, growth and political stability goals. Such demands varied in their competitiveness for system resources depending on how much they were not attained. But there was no theoretical basis for assessing completeness of the basic needs list used in the simulation. In Maslow’s terms, in simulations like SIPER, GLOBUS and many others, the practice of international relations is missing motivations related to self-esteem and self-actualization of leaders and followers alike. Similarly, as regards generic means for goal attainment, there is no effort at comparing the means provided by simulation variables and parameters, with a basic checklist of means, such as Lasswell’s (1950) checklist of means values (wealth, respect, affection, power, skill, well-being, enlightenment and rectitude). A Lasswell-inspired global model would have indicators for each of these means values. A Parsonian structural framework such as used by Smoker (1981) would alert global modelers to possible errors of omission. Without such theories as Maslow’s, Lasswell’s and Parson’s as regards ends, means, and system structure, any global modeling evaluation is adrift in a sea of uncertainty as to what evaluation criteria to employ, not to mention as to what is essential to model and what is superfluous. Thus the philosophy of global modeling, long-term is as important as its practical or its scientific merit.
Conclusion
At the beginning of the 20th century there were no such things as microchips, yet people like L.F. Richardson were envisioning a world system that needed to be understood if war was to be obviated. At the end of the 20th century we have an existing world system in trade, finance and communication, and the capacity for self-destruction not only in nuclear but nanotechnology forms, be they biological, genetic, radiant energy or mechanical. But we are only at the very beginning of global self-understanding and self-control. Like Richardson's arms race opponents, we do not understand that it is in our collective interaction that dynamic equilibria, stable or unstable, or chaotic, indeterminate states, are created that in turn impact us all. A few, such as Shewhart (1931) and Deming (1986), recognized this and initiated a true revolution in business management practices and philosophy; but the "profound knowledge" (human system dynamics) base from which they worked is still too rarely understood. Global modeling is still in its infancy: not enough data, few tested empirical hypotheses, too much ungrounded theory; inadequate philosophical understanding; and a lack of practical wisdom. Much as astrologers preceded astronomers and alchemists preceded chemists, we are still beset with trend analysts with rulers who seem to do just as well (which is to say poorly in terms of value added) as global modelers struggling with their programming languages and skimpy data and yesterday's deadlines.
Despite all this, global modeling holds out the promise of human self-understanding at a system dynamics level. It seems not yet to have been the focus of sufficiently strenuous moral effort. To paraphrase Richardson, global modeling needs a boost to academic prominence and social significance, a boost that it deserves and needs if it is to mature as a contribution to science, to praxis, and to philosophy for the sake of world civilization. Let us see what we can do.
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Richard Chadwick earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at Northwestern University in 1966. He continued to work with Harold Guetzkow's Simulated International Processes Project at Northwestern while a Lecturer and Research Staff Political Scientist at Yale, 1966-67. In 1967 he joined System Development Corporation (SDC) in Santa Monica shortly after it separated from RAND, to work on an educational simulation under DARPA contract. For four years he was affiliated with the Center for International Affairs at Harvard as a casual hire, Research Fellow, and Research Associate, continuing a project on trade flows and European integration he worked on at Yale with Karl Deutsch. At the same time he taught at the University of Hawaii and worked at Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory (now CALSPAN, Inc.) writing grant proposals and completing final project reports on diverse subjects. He was tenured at the University of Hawaii in 1973 and promoted to full professor in 1974. From 1981 to 1983 he coordinated the G-MAPP (Global Models and the Policy Process) Project at the East-West Center of Honolulu, after working on some six other projects there in preceding years. He has had numerous other affiliations in the US and Europe over the years. In 1990 he acted as a scientific advisor to the Pentagon to evaluate the Globesight Model of the Forecast II Project at DRMEC/NPS. Also throughout the 1990s he has taught W. Edwards Deming’s theory of management, in China once or twice a year. He is a member of the governing (now advisory) council of the Matsunaga Institute for Peace at the University of Hawaii, and sits on the Board of Governors of the Japan Association for Simulation and Gaming. He is a Methodist and volunteers his time at their Foodbank and their Computer Ministry, as well as serving on their administrative council and in other ways. He has been married for 39 years and has one son.
Address: Prof. Richard Chadwick, Political Science, 2424 Maile Way - SSB 640, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA; telephone: 1-808-956-7180; e-mail chadwick@hawaii.edu; Web site www2.hawaii.edu/~chadwick.

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