Two papers, authored by iSchool faculty, an alumnus and PhD students, appeared recently in the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change.
In one paper, authors Jared P. Keller, Associate Professor Kevin C. Desouza, and Yuan Lin examine the impacts of four common strategies for dismantling terrorist networks: leader-focused, grassroots, geographic, and random. Employing a computational experimentation methodology, the authors simulate a terrorist network and test the effects of each strategy on the resiliency of that network. In addition, they test scenarios in which the terrorist network has (or does not have) information about an impending attack.
In the article, Keller, Desouza and Lin show how various strategies impact the structure of the network in terms of its resiliency and capacity to carry out future attacks. They also provide an overview of how to use agent-based modeling for the study of complex problems in the terrorism, conflict studies, and security study domains.
In another paper, authors Volodymyr V. Lysenko and Desouza look at how deploying technologies can bring about social change, even in some of the most difficult political environments. Their paper explores the possibilities of the Internet as a tool for supplying information necessary for the organization and mobilization of successful opposition movements, especially under non-democratic regimes. In particular, the recent cyberprotest cases of the Ingushetiya.ru website and the movement to release political prisoner Svetlana Bakhmina are investigated. Besides showing the Internet's significant role in organizing modern protests, these cases also demonstrate that in environments where practically all traditional mass-media are under the authorities' control, the Internet becomes the major source of alternative information.
You can find both articles on the website for Technological Forecasting and Social Change.