Keywords: system dynamics, insurgency modelling, Irish insurgency, system engineering, Sinn Fein, Irish Republican Army, IRA, Ireland, Irish independence, ethnic recognition
Unequal protagonists: modelling the Irish insurgency 1916-1921
Although the story of the Irish struggle for independence and ethnic recognition goes back centuries, the 20th century proved most violent. This case study focuses on the Irish insurgency in the early decades, specifically the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Anglo-Irish War of 1919-1921. The insurgency will be characterised with an engineering modelling technique that captures relationships between and among inorganic and organic factors, i.e., events and human behaviour/response. System dynamics will be used to facilitate a holistic representation of these events and relationships from a macro to micro perspective. The purpose of the study is to better understand the Irish struggle for national and ethnic recognition through a system dynamics model that facilitates assessment of cause and effect factors, direct and indirect variables, and corresponding and correlative relationships of the insurgency as a complex system. The paper proffers a research and representation methodology that addresses the constraints placed on typical empirical research by coupling social science research methods with advanced system modelling applications.