877 research outputs found

    Application of Statistical Physics to Politics

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    The concept and technics of real space renormalization group are applied to study majority rule voting in hierarchical structures. It is found that democratic voting can lead to totalitarianism by keeping in power a small minority. Conditions of this paradox are analyzed and singled out. Indeed majority rule produces critical thresholds to absolute power. Values of these thresholds can vary from 50% up to at least 77%. The associated underlying mechanism could provide an explanation for both former apparent eternity of communist leaderships as well as their sudden collapse.Comment: Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Research Workshop, Budapest (May 1999) Eds: A. Gadomski et a

    Global Physics: From Percolation to Terrorism, Guerilla Warfare and Clandestine Activities

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    The September 11 attack on the US has revealed an unprecedented terrorism with worldwide range of destruction. It is argued to result from the first worldwide percolation of passive supporters. They are people sympathetic to the terrorism cause but without being involved with it. They just don't oppose it in case they could. This scheme puts suppression of the percolation as the major strategic issue in the fight against terrorism. Acting on the population is shown to be useless. Instead a new strategic scheme is suggested to increase the terrorism percolation threshold and in turn suppress the percolation. The relevant associated space is identified as a multi-dimensional social space including both the ground earth surface and all various independent flags displayed by the terrorist group. Some hints are given on how to shrink the geographical spreading of terrorism threat. The model apply to a large spectrum of clandestine activities including guerilla warfare as well as tax evasion, corruption, illegal gambling, illegal prostitution and black markets.Comment: 17 pages, 7 figures, Proceedings of the International Workshop Randomness And Complexity in honor of Shlomo Havlin's 60th birthday held in January 2003, Eilat, Israe

    Fragmentation versus Stability in Bimodal Coalitions

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    Competing bimodal coalitions among a group of actors are discussed. First, a model from political sciences is revisited. Most of the model statements are found not to be contained in the model. Second, a new coalition model is built. It accounts for local versus global alignment with respect to the joining of a coalition. The existence of two competing world coaltions is found to yield one unique stable distribution of actors. On the opposite a unique world leadership allows the emergence of unstable relationships. In parallel to regular actors which have a clear coalition choice, ``neutral" ``frustrated" and ``risky" actors are produced. The cold war organisation after world war II is shown to be rather stable. The emergence of a fragmentation process from eastern group disappearance is explained as well as continuing western group stability. Some hints are obtained about possible policies to stabilize world nation relationships. European construction is analyzed with respect to european stability. Chinese stability is also discussed.Comment: 14 pages, latex, no figures, to appear in Physica

    Contrarian Deterministic Effect: the "Hung Elections Scenario"

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    A contrarian is someone who deliberately decides to oppoe the prevailing choice of others. The Galam model of two state opinion dynamicsincorporates agent updates by a single step random grouping in which all participants adopt the opinion of their respective local majority group. The process is repeated until a stable collective state is reached; the associated dynamics is fast. Here we show that the introduction of contrarians may give rise to interesting dynamics generated phases and even to a critical behavior at a contrarian concentration aca_c. For a<aca<a_c an ordered phase is generated with a clear cut majority-minority splitting. By contrast when a>aca>a_c the resulting disordered phase has no majority: agents keep shifting opinions but no symmetry breaking (i.e., the appearance of a majority) takes place. Our results are employed to explain the outcome of the 2000 American presidential elections and that of the 2002 German parliamentary elections. Those events are found to be inevitable. On this basis the ``hung elections scenario'' is predicted to become a common occurrence in modern democracies.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figure

    Fashion, Novelty and Optimality: An application from Physics

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    We apply a physical based model to describe the clothes fashion market. Every time a new outlet appears on the market, it can invade the market under certain specific conditions. Hence, the "old'' outlet can be completely dominated and disappears. Each creator competes for a finite population of agents. Fashion phenomena are shown to result from a collective phenomenon produced by local individual imitation effects. We assume that, in each step of the imitation process, agents only interact with a subset rather than with the whole set of agents. People are actually more likely to influence (and be influenced by) their close ''neighbours''. Accordingly we discuss which strategy is best fitted for new producers when people are either simply organised into anonymous reference groups or when they are organised in social groups hierarchically ordered. While counterfeits are shown to reinforce the first strategy, creating social leaders can permit to avoid them.Comment: 24 pages, 7 figure

    A geometrical model for Mixed cyanide crystals

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    A model of diluted random field sustained by quenched volume deformations is shown to reproduce puzzling physical features found in X(CN)_{x}Y_{1-x} mixed cyanide crystals. X is an alkali metal (K, Na or Rb) and Y is a spherical halogen ion (Br, Cl or I). Critical thresholds x_c at which associated first order ferroelastic transitions disappear are calculated exactly. The diluted random field is shown to compete with compressibility in making the transition first order. Transitions are then found to remain first order down to x_c except in the case of bromine dilution where they become continuous. All the results are in excellent agreement with available experimental data.Comment: 10 pages, late

    Opinion dynamics in a three-choice system

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    We generalize Galam's model of opinion spreading by introducing three competing choices. At each update, the population is randomly divided in groups of three agents, whose members adopt the opinion of the local majority. In the case of a tie, the local group adopts opinion A, B or C with probabilities alpha, beta and (1-alpha-beta) respectively. We derive the associated phase diagrams and dynamics by both analytical means and simulations. Polarization is always reached within very short time scales. We point out situations in which an initially very small minority opinion can invade the whole system.Comment: To appear in European Physical Journal B. A few errors corrected, some figures redrawn from the first versio

    Rational Group Decision Making. A random field Ising model at T=0

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    A modified version of a finite random field Ising ferromagnetic model in an external magnetic field at zero temperature is presented to describe group decision making. Fields may have a non-zero average. A postulate of minimum inter-individual conflicts is assumed. Interactions then produce a group polarization along one very choice which is however randomly selected. A small external social pressure is shown to have a drastic effect on the polarization. Individual bias related to personal backgrounds, cultural values and past experiences are introduced via quenched local competing fields. They are shown to be instrumental in generating a larger spectrum of collective new choices beyond initial ones. In particular, compromise is found to result from the existence of individual competing bias. Conflict is shown to weaken group polarization. The model yields new psycho-sociological insights about consensus and compromise in groups.Comment: 25 pages, late

    The role of inflexible minorities in the breaking of democratic opinion dynamics

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    We study the effect of inflexible agents on two state opinion dynamics. The model operates via repeated local updates of random grouping of agents. While floater agents do eventually flip their opinion to follow the local majority, inflexible agents keep their opinion always unchanged. It is a quenched individual opinion. In the bare model (no inflexibles), a separator at 50% drives the dynamics towards either one of two pure attractors, each associated with a full polarization along one of the opinions. The initial majority wins. The existence of inflexibles for only one of the two opinions is found to shift the separator at a lower value than 50% in favor of that side. Moreover it creates an incompressible minority around the inflexibles, one of the pure attractors becoming a mixed phase attractor. In addition above a threshold of 17% inflexibles make their side sure of winning whatever the initial conditions are. The inflexible minority wins. An equal presence of inflexibles on both sides restores the balanced dynamics with again a separator at 50% and now two mixed phase attractors on each side. Nevertheless, beyond 25% the dynamics is reversed with a unique attractor at a fifty-fifty stable equilibrium. But a very small advantage in inflexibles results in a decisive lowering of the separator at the advantage of the corresponding opinion. A few percent advantage does guarantee to become majority with one single attractor. The model is solved exhaustedly for groups of size 3.Comment: 18 pages, 12 figure

    The dynamics of opinion in hierarchical organizations

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    We study the mutual influence of authority and persuasion in the flow of opinion. Many social organizations are characterized by a hierarchical structure where the propagation of opinion is asymmetric. In the normal flow of opinion formation a high-rank agent uses its authority (or its persuasion when necessary) to impose its opinion on others. However, agents with no authority may only use the force of its persuasion to propagate their opinions. In this contribution we describe a simple model with no social mobility, where each agent belongs to a class in the hierarchy and has also a persuasion capability. The model is studied numerically for a three levels case, and analytically within a mean field approximation, with a very good agreement between the two approaches. The stratum where the dominant opinion arises from is strongly dependent on the percentage of agents in each hierarchy level, and we obtain a phase diagram identifying the relative frequency of prevailing opinions. We also find that the time evolution of the conflicting opinions polarizes after a short transient.Comment: 6 pages, 5 figures, submitted to Phys. Rev.
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