Projektbeschreibung

Regardless of politics or business - crises are undesirable. The early prediction of crisis is always the ultimate goal, so that it might not even occur, or can be addressed in time. In order to identify the source of a potential crisis in a region, it is crucial to examine the overall stability of a state. Fragile states are more subjected to various crisis situations than stable ones.

A team at the Universität der Bundeswehr München, in cooperation with the “Zentrum Operative Kommunikation der Bundeswehr”, has addressed this issue by developing the software Global Analysis of Stability Indicators (GASI) to assess the exposure of a state to a crisis.

Many early warning systems rely on media analysis in order to uncover the signs of short-term shocks. GASI employs a different approach. It examines the social environments in which potential shocks would occur. By doing so, it attempts to answer the question: “At which stability level, the likelihood of a crisis (or the impact of a crisis) would be significantly lower?” In other words, when dealing with the question of a state crisis, it is important to distinguish between short-term shocks occurring in a state and the state’s overall stability.

The greatest challenge in the analysis of stability is that it cannot be measured directly. Rather, it can be assessed indirectly by using a variety of measurable indicators. After identifying suitable indicators, they have to be aggregated into a single value of stability.

There are three distinct features of the GASI model:

First, between stability and its indicators, an intermediate level was build, the level of four dimensions upon which the stability of a state is based. These dimensions are: authority, legitimacy, capacity and social cohesion. With the help of indicators, the strengths and weaknesses of a state in these dimensions are assessed and, subsequently, the overall stability of a state is judged.

The second distinct feature are the source transparent, reliable indicators used. The key requirement for GASI is that these indicators must be approved and comparable across the states. Therefore, only data from international, renowned sources are used.

The third one is the aggregation of indicators or dimension values. Using simple average of indicator values would imply that all indicators are equally important. Using weighted average requires identifying weighting factors, that are often determined subjectively. In our model we use a more objective way by determining the factors statistically.

 

When using GASI the stability of a state and the values of each dimensions or indicators can be displayed on a world map and states with similar values in a dimension or single indicator are displayed on a list.

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It is possible to analyse the evolution of a certain dimension of stability (or of a single indicator) over time or compare it with another country.

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Furthermore, the strengths and weaknesses of a state in each dimension can be represented in a radar chart (and compared to the values of another state).

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The quality of a software-based crisis-detection tools depends fundamentally on the quality and selection of the underlying data and its aggregation. The GASI approach, with its focus on objective, comparable, independently approved structural facts, promises an advantage over other models that rely on crisis-focused-indicators based subjective opinion or media evaluation. By using fact indicator instead of perception indicators, GASI is not exposed to the risk connected to personal or media bias.

The forecast of a crisis is often confronted with variety of – sometimes contradictory - signs. In some instances, a combination of causes could lead to crises. In such cases GASI can provide helpful hints for a closer analysis. It identifies states that are unstable and therefore more susceptible to crises. It reveals the strength and weaknesses of a state in the four dimensions which are analysed more precisely.

A GASI analysis on the long term stability of a state is an essential complement to deliver background knowledge for a short term crisis analysis based on media evaluation.

If your interested to see and test a online version of the GASI- tool, send an email to manfred.sargl@unibw.de and you will be provided with URL and login.

 

Projektlaufzeit

Mai 2017 bis November 2019

 

Projektteam

Leitung: Prof. Dr. Manfred Sargl

Mitarbeiter: Fabian Obster und Samuel Lippl