A Computational Theory of Endogenous Norm Change: The NormSim Agent-Based Model in MASON




Rouleau, Mark D.

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The current study presents the NormSim Agent-Based Model in MASON. NormSim conducts a computational analysis of the International Relations theory of constructivism. NormSim explores the metastable dynamics of norms through the interactions of heterogeneous agents embedded within a complex social system. The goal is to explain how the social complexity of international relations generates metastability. The use of ABM and the MASON simulation toolkit make it possible to explore this process from a formal experimental perspective. This is advantageous for constructivist research that typically must rely on qualitative analysis alone to justify complex theoretical assumptions. NormSim demonstrates the use of ABM to test the logical consistency of constructivist claims. It also extends constructivist logic to better understand why international norms lead to complex conformity patterns and long run systemic change. NormSim provides a general computational theory to explain this phenomenon.



Agent-based modeling, Simulation, Complexity, Norms, International relations, Constructivism