Patrick Meier

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki


I'm pursuing a PhD at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy based at Tufts University in Boston and my interests range from international conflict prevention and disaster early warning systems to complexity theory and network science. I'm particularly interested in applying complex systems thinking and quantitative tools to conflict analysis and equally interested in the prevention and early warning of disasters, or shocks, across social, physical and biological systems in general.

Having taken a "scholar-practitioner" approach throughout my graduate studies, I have worked as a consultant for the United Nations (multiple agencies/offices such as UNICEF-Somalia and the Office for the Prevention of Genocide), OSCE and African Inter-governmental organizations (IGAD/ECOWAS) which has involved work in Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan and The Gambia. In addition, I have had the opportunity to consult for and work informally with the International Crisis Group (ICG) and International Alert (IA) in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and have acted as interim representative of the Swiss Peace Foundation to the United Nations in New York. Presently, I am working with colleagues at Columbia University on the UN Secretary-General's 2006 Report on the Prevention of Armed Conflict for which we are drafting the section on early warning. After the course in Santa Fe, I will be in Norway (July/August) working with the Political Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO) on modeling coupled human-environment systems for conflict analysis.

On the personal front, I was born in Cote d'Ivoire, raised in Kenya, went to school in Austria and studied in the UK, California and New York. I hold dual nationality from France and Switzerland.

Looking forward to meeting all of you and having a great time in/out of the classroom!

Cheers, Patrick

My Academic Profile

Answers to Dan Rockmore's questions:

1. Best practices in conflict early warning methodologies

2. How to apply complex systems tools to model/forecast conflict escalation; modeling of social networks; origins of power-law behavior...

3. Yes (a) with colleagues, we're looking into power-law distributions in casualties resulting from armed conflict and natural disasters. Power-law behavior is ubiquitous in other disciplines. Why does this type of behavior arise? Because of critical states? How can these be influenced to produce other types of distributions? (b) with other colleagues, we're looking into modeling (spatial) migration patterns in conflict using a game of life approach; how do the patterns we're picking up compare to other patterns in biological systems? How can these be influenced?

4. Yes, one having to do with social systems and/or power-law behavior...

5. Forecasting conflict & natural disasters...

6. Forecasting conflict & natural disasters...