"Computing the Battle for Hearts and MInds: Lessons from the Vendee"
Predictions for the spread of revolution, political innovation or instability at the international level are often based on metaphors such as contagion and the domino effect. A current example is the Bush administrations belief that democracy in Iraq would lead to the rapid transformation of the Middle East; that it would be a decisive step in what, without apparent irony, it calls "the battle for hearts and minds." However, historical analogues suggest any pattern is more complex and not uniform. It depends on local conditions at various regions, such as degrees of discontent, pre-existent social networks and local leadership, as well as the revolutionary idea. Several classic works, like Eric Wolf's Peasant Wars of the 20th Century, and Charles Tilly's Vendee, a study of the counter-revolution in France, have examined local conditions with the aim of identifying patterns which supported/ inhibited revolution and counter-revolution in different areas. As a prelude to research that uses agent based modeling and social network analysis to analyze the spread of terrorism in response to globalization, we examine Tilly's results and their amenability to these modes of representations. We then discuss how the revealed interactions of ideas, traditions, social systems and economic conditions may be applied to the contemporary situations.