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Perspectives on Political and Social Regional Stability Impacted By Global Crises - A Social Science Context


Cooperative security, stability operations and irregular warfare missions require a better understanding of the complex operational environment, notably through rich contextual understanding of the factors affecting stability. Further assessment, policy, and planning need to consider factors associated with institutional performance (community organizations, government ministries, legal structures, etc.) based on how societies emerge, develop, and function, as well as attributes that provide resiliency and flexibility. Today, stability experts are faced with a new environment in which the world is highly interconnected, change is very rapid, and threats are multifaceted; all of these pose very different challenges to the US Government (USG). While in today’s increasingly interconnected world, global crises and unstable regions pose an acute risk to world security and could provide unforeseen circumstances ripe for manipulation and exploitation, these same threats can serve as rallying instruments, catalyzing disparate groups to work in concert to develop coordinated responses and preparedness mechanisms.

To capture the breadth of this issue, this paper examines issues ranging from political, infrastructural, demographic, economic, resource-related, climatologic, energy-related, epidemiological, sociological, and analytical issues as they impact regional stability. Decision makers are dealing with an evolving situation in which societies are increasingly interconnected; changes occur rapidly, often with unexpected consequences; and threats to stability are complex. This white paper is a comprehensive compilation and assessment of complex issues influencing regional stability by a diverse group of authors that discuss the assessment of regional stability through the lens of crises in food, water, changing climate, energy, economy, demographics and epidemics. These articles, some of which have been previously published, provide critical insights into factors and tools that can apply to this complex challenge. Contributors to this white paper have provided a rich analysis of the factors affecting stability, as well as new perspectives based on careful study and experience germane to today’s issues. This compilation yields an overarching view of regional stability as it impacts global and regional crises. Through detailed citations of the scholarship and current thinking throughout their communities, the authors make a compelling case for how multiple factors can coalesce to result in radical impacts on regional stability.