Report

Conflict and Cooperation

February 20th 2017 - 15:00

HCSS has tracked overall trends in global cooperation and conflict as part of its contribution to the Strategic Monitor of the Dutch government. Our study takes into consideration two overarching questions: “Will state or non-state actors be most dominant in the future world?” and “Will whoever becomes most dominant be more cooperative, or more conflictual?”

Our approach to this ‘monitoring’ effort aspires to collate and curate a systematic empirical evidence base that allows all relevant stakeholders – analysts, military planners, policy-makers, but also interested companies, NGOs, citizens, etc. – to get a better grip on these fundamental international trends. With the advent of (open-source) event datasets, this has become more possible than ever. 

This year we updated our findings using data from three different sources and have uncovered a number of different trends. How can we leverage big data to inform policymakers on complex geopolitical trends in our new uncertain era? What are the world’s most cooperative countries? Where in the world can we find the highest concentrations of conflictual behavior? What is the Netherlands’ position in the ebb and flow of international communications? 

This study is part of the 2016-2017 HCSS StratMon.

Stephan De Spiegeleire is senior scientist at HCSS. He has Master’s degrees from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and Columbia University in New York, as well as a C.Phil. degree in Political Science from UCLA. He worked for the RAND Corporation for nearly ten years, interrupted by stints at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and the WEU’s Institute for Security Studies. Mr. De Spiegeleire started out as a Soviet specialist, but has since branched out into several fields of international security and defense policy.