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The most recent and complete socio-political model documentation is available on Pardee's website. Although the text in this interactive system is, for some IFs models, often significantly out of date, you may still find the basic description useful to you.

A substantial portion of the socio-political model of IFs is scattered throughout the other models. There are "policy handles" or intervention points throughout those models. For instance, in the population model, multipliers on the total fertility rate can reflect policy decisions (although they can also reflect the model user's judgment concerning social changes in the country or region, independent of policy). Patterns of regulation, subsidy, tax incidence, and provision of state services are so diffuse and complicated that we resort to looking at their aggregate consequences through various "policy handles" rather than trying to represent them explicitly.

For more information on this module, please use the links below or read more at Socio-Political Equations Overview.

Structure and Agent System: Socio-Political

Organizing Structure
Social fabric
Levels of human well-being and institutional development (human and social capital)
Cultural structures
Social expenditures
Value change
Key Aggregate  Relationships 
(illustrative, not comprehensive)
Growth in literacy and human development;
Democratic development, state failure
Key Agent-Class Behavior  Relationships
(illustrative, not comprehensive)
Government efforts to develop human capital through spending on health, education, R&D

Unlike the use of cohort-component structures in demographics and of markets and social accounting matrices for economics, there is no standard organizing structure that is widely used for representing socio-political systems. In the context of the TERRA project, IFs developed a multi-component approach to structure that might be called the "social fabric" (a la Robert Pestel).

Although representation of agent-class behavior would be of special interest in a socio-political module, most relationships in IFs remain at the level of aggregate specifications.

Dominant Relations: Socio-political

Domestic Socio-Political Change: Dominant Relations

Social and political change occurs on three dimensions (social characteristics or individual life conditions, values, socio-political institutions and process). Although GDP per capita is strongly correlated with all dimensions of change, it might be more appropriate to conceptualize a syndrome or complex of developmental change than to portray an economically-driven process.

For causal diagram see Socio-Political Flow Charts Overview.

For equations see, for example, Socio-Political Equations Overview.

Key dynamics are directly linked to the dominant relations:

  • The model computes some key social characteristics/life conditions, including life expectancy and fertility rates in the demographic model, but the user can affect them via multipliers (mortm, tfrm). Literacy rate is an endogenous function of education spending, which the user can influence (via gdsm).
  • The model computes value or cultural change on three dimensions: traditional versus secular-rational, survival versus self-expression, and modernism versus postmodernism, which the user can affect via additive factors (tradsrateadd, survseadd, matpostradd).
  • Freedom, democracy (the POLITY measure), autocracy, economic freedom, and the status of women are all computed endogenously but can all be shifted by the user via multipliers (freedomm, democm, autocm, econfreem, gemm)

Domestic Socio-Political Change: Selected Added Value

The larger socio-political model provides representation and control over government spending on education, health, the military, R&D, foreign aid, and a residual category. Military spending is linked to interstate politics, both as a driver of threat and as a result of action-and-reaction based arms spending. The sub-model provides aggregated indicators of the physical quality of life and the human development index. <header><hgroup>

Socio-political Flow Charts



The social and political module represents a complex of interacting structures and processes. These include:

  • The various social characteristics or life conditions of individuals
  • Human values, beliefs, and orientations’
  • Social and political structures, informal as well as formal
  • Social and political processes, both domestic and international

Cultural foundations frame all of these components. And all of the components interact closely with human demographic and economic systems.

The socio-political elements of IFs are among the most dynamically evolving aspects of the overall modeling system. Much, but not everything in the above figure has been fully represented yet within IFs; the figure indicates direction of development and shows implemented elements in italics.

For more, please read the links below.


Social Characteristics: Life Conditions

</hgroup></header> Individuals are the foundations of society. Many social indicators are actually aggregated indicators of their condition. The Human Development Index (HDI) is a widely-used summary measure of that life condition, based on life expectancy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita.