Modeling the Growth of Boko Haram Using System Dynamics
AbstractThis study uses a systems dynamic approach to understand how the attacks conducted by Boko Haram influence the group’s growth. Boko Haram originated in the early 2000s under Muhammad Yusuf, but the group did not become known for its violence until 2009 (Oftedal, 2013). In 2013, the United States designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (U.S. Department of State, 2013). The Nigerian government’s efforts to eliminate the group’s influence in northern Nigeria and neighboring countries has not been successful. As Africa enters the world spotlight, the need for curbing the influence of Boko Haram strengthens. The system dynamics modeling process provides a method of understanding the relationships within the underlying structures that drive the scope of influence of Boko Haram, including organizational growth, media coverage, and attack efficacy. A formalized system dynamics model provides a basis for policy recommendations to counteract the group’s efforts.
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