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The Arab Spring, the collapse of democracy in Turkey, civil wars in Africa, and continued violence in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq—imagine the possibilities if we could truly understand the socio-political forces at play, make better predictions about when violent outbreaks might happen and therefore, better assess the resilience of human societies to political instability.

That is the thrust of new research by Sergey Gavrilets, associate director for scientific activities at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, based at UT. The US Department of Defense has awarded Gavrilets a three-year grant from its Minerva Research Initiative to study this topic. His project will develop new mathematical modeling tools to investigate political revolutions and the resilience of human societies to shocks.

Gavrilets also directs the Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity at NIMBioS. He is a Distinguished Professor in the UT Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Read more about the Gavrilets’ project on the NIMBioS website.