Generating State-Size Distributions: A Geopolitical Model

Paper prepared for presentation at the Agent 2003 conference on “Challenges in Social Simulation”, University of Chicago, October 2-4, 2003, and at the University of California, San Diego, January 12, 2004.
While International Relations scholars have ignored the issue of state size, economists explain the territorial extent of states as an optimal outcome given various constraints in analogy with the theory of the firm. Focusing on full distributions rather than average sizes, this paper adopts a systemic, generative perspective supported by agent‐based modeling. It is concluded that empirical state sizes are log‐normally distributed. Given this fact, I attempt to reconstruct such size distributions relying on a geopolitical model. This reconstruction task becomes possible by adding a mountainous terrain that imposes a variety of logistical obstacles to conquest processes.
Cederman, Lars-Erik. 2003. “Generating State-Size Distributions: A Geopolitical Model.” Paper prepared for presentation at the Agent 2003 conference on “Challenges in Social Simulation”, University of Chicago, October 2-4, 2003, and at the University of California, San Diego, January 12, 2004.
@article{generating-state-size-distributions,
   Title = {Generating State-Size Distributions: A Geopolitical Model},
   Author = {Cederman, Lars-Erik},
   Year = {2003},
   Volume = {Paper prepared for presentation at the Agent 2003 conference on "Challenges in Social Simulation", University of Chicago, October 2-4, 2003, and at the University of California, San Diego, January 12, 2004.},
   abstract = {While International Relations scholars have ignored the issue of state size, economists explain the territorial extent of states as an optimal outcome given various constraints in analogy with the theory of the firm. Focusing on full distributions rather than average sizes, this paper adopts a systemic, generative perspective supported by agent-based modeling. It is concluded that empirical state sizes are log-normally distributed. Given this fact, I attempt to reconstruct such size distributions relying on a geopolitical model. This reconstruction task becomes possible by adding a mountainous terrain that imposes a variety of logistical obstacles to conquest processes.},
   url = {http://www.icr.ethz.ch/publications/cederman2003generating.pdf},
   status = {personal}
}