Cliophysics: Socio-Political Reliability Theory, Polity Duration and African Political (In)stabilities

Cherif, Alhaji; Barley, Kamal
December 2010
PLoS ONE;2010, Vol. 5 Issue 12, p1
Academic Journal
Quantification of historical sociological processes have recently gained attention among theoreticians in the effort of providing a solid theoretical understanding of the behaviors and regularities present in socio-political dynamics. Here we present a reliability theory of polity processes with emphases on individual political dynamics of African countries. We found that the structural properties of polity failure rates successfully capture the risk of political vulnerability and instabilities in which 87:50%, 75%, 71:43%, and 0% of the countries with monotonically increasing, unimodal, U-shaped and monotonically decreasing polity failure rates, respectively, have high level of state fragility indices. The quasi-U-shape relationship between average polity duration and regime types corroborates historical precedents and explains the stability of the autocracies and democracies.


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