Aids,  Complex Societal Issues and Simulation

XVI   ISA   World Congress of Sociology


Research Committee on Logic and Methodology RC33  2006



Dorien  DeTombe


Volume 15












Aids,  Complex Societal Issues and Simulation

XVI   ISA   World Congress of Sociology 2006


Research Committee on Logic and Methodology RC33



 Volume 15


Dorien DeTombe

ã Greenhill & Waterfront, Dorien J. DeTombe

Publisher: Greenhill & Waterfront,

 Europe: Amsterdam , The Netherlands ; Guilford , UK

North-America: Montreal , Canada

Contact us:

ISBN  90-771-71-20-

Version 001, 18 pages, March 2006

Nugi 661, 652, 654

Language English

10 Euro


XVI   ISA   World Congress of Sociology


Research Committee on Logic and Methodology RC33



Complex Societal Issues

Chair: Dorien J. DeTombe,

International Research Society on Methodology of Societal Complexity

P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam,

The Netherlands , Europe Tel: +31 20 6927526



The subject of Methodology Handling Complex Societal Issues:


Methodology of Handling Complex Societal Issues focuses on methods and tools for analyzing, structuring, guiding and evaluating complex societal problems.

Complex societal problems are often policy problems that can occur in many fields, like in the Agro-industry (Mad-Cow disease, BSE; Foot- and Mouth disease; Fowl Plague), in the transportation sector, in healthcare (Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Sars, Flu), in Water affairs. It focuses also on handling local safety problems like large city issues and natural disasters as flood and hurricanes and global safety problems like war, terrorism. Although many of these issues have a different cause, they have so much in comment that they can be approached in the same way. Besides that, being in Africa means also to be confronted with the complexity of the AIDS/HIV problem.

Complex societal problems, as such, are unstructured, dynamical and constantly changing and have a large impact on society on macro, meso and on micro level.

Handling complex societal problems needs a special interdisciplinary approach. The content knowledge comes from content experts. The process knowledge comes from facilitators. The attention of the research group is on the methods and tools facilitators need for supporting these kinds of problems. The facilitators use methods specially created for the field of societal problems combined with methods and insights derived from their original field like medicine, law, economics, societal sciences, methodology, mathematics, computer sciences, technology, engineering sciences, chaos theory and operational research. Often a combination of methods is needed. In this way the field uses all kind of methods from social sciences and operational research. An often-used approach is simulation. A simulation model is one of the powerful tools to describe societal complexity. With simulation models one cannot only understand the causal relations between the phenomena but also see what effect changes have.


The set of lectures focuses on methodology for handling real life complexity; the emphasis is on subject AIDS/HIV and/or the use of simulation models in complexity.

Keywords: Methodology, complex societal issues, decisions, simulation, HIV/ Aids


1 Modeling the social policy in a disordered institutional surrounding and assessing risks in making decisions

Study of the case of Serbia


Adzic, Sofija

Doctor of science, full professor

Faculty of Economics, Subotica ,

Segedinski put 9–11 ,Yu – 24000 Subotica , Serbia & Montenegro

Phone:  ++ 381 24 55 24 94



Adzic, Jasminka

Mathematical High School, Belgrade , Serbia & Montenegro


From the beginning of the XIXth century up to the collapse of socialism and restoration of capitalism in the early nineties of the XXth century, Serbia was characterized by the specific system of social protection. Its basic feature was on the direct integration of social protection in the frame of economic subjects. This form of institutional regulation of social protection created a long term social equilibrium under the conditions of very modest economic basis. Poverty and social fragmentation did not represent an important problem in Serbia .

With the restoration of capitalism, in the period of only fifteen years, was created a social situation wherein poverty and other social problems in different ways, jeopardized ca 9/10 of the population of Serbia . Actual social problems are first all, the consequence of the model of transitional macro management and decomposition of the former common state with other South-Slavian peoples. Obviously, in this period, solutions in the domain of social protection and human development were looked for in an unsystematic way and in accordance with the dominant interests of political and economical elites. The final result is the institutionally unregulated model of social protection, appearance of various forms of poverty and social discrimination and massive appearance of social pathology as well. Institutional disorder, dynamics and versatility of social problems and low degree of “ex ante” foresee ability of results and costs as well, are limiting the application of conventional modeling and evaluation of attributes of social policies.

Accordingly, the problem of making decisions in the definition of the contents of social policy attributes in Serbia is treated as an ill-structured problem. To the opinion of Authors, the methodology of modeling social policies to the measure of individuals and their families, as an ill-structured problem, allows, in a theoretically valid way, to treat indistinctness and vagueness being inherent in subjective preferences, goals and limitations, under conditions wherein does not exist science, practice and tradition in respecting formal institutional structures.

On the basis of this thesis, the methodology of modeling the attributes of social policies is developed, based on the combination of following techniques: (1) Methodology for soft systems, (2) Conception of making decisions on the basis of functional hierarchy of layers and (3) Analysis of risk in making decisions.

The test of the proposed methodology is performed on the example of implementation of the systematically organized program for help in food for poor people in Serbia . The selection of optimal solutions takes place step by step. The skill of operationalization is in looking for optimal solutions within the following paradigms: competition, cooperation and learning within the framework of vague assemblies in the chain: {Actors, Aggregates} -> {Goals of social policy} -> {Measures and instruments of social policy}. Accordingly, in the present work, special attention is paid to the problem of the development of methodology of risk analysis and selection of concrete attributes of social policy, on the basis of two groups of criteria.

The first one covers the analysis of consequences of decisions on the basis of: (1) Impact to the life and health of human beings, (2) Impact to human development and transmission of consequences to next generations, (3) Impact to the increase (decrease) of individual responsibility for social security, (4) Consequences for public finances and (5) Impact to the culture of life and work.

The second group covers the analysis of the problem of multi-attribute analysis of the usefulness in making decisions by considering following phenomena: (1) Basic aspects of behavior of human beings: (a) Rational behavior, (b) Emotional (irrational) behavior, and (c) Protection of personal interests on account of common ones, (2) Problems due to the impossibility of statistic (exact) checking social consequences of the application of concrete attributes of social policy, (3) Protection of current social, political and economic benefits instead of long terms ones, (4) Differences in the size of risk between decision makers and users, (5) Problem of solutions imposed by narrower social, ethnic, political or economic groups and (6) Problem of inequality of time lag in the manifestation of social problems.


Key words: Modeling the attributes of social policy, Credibility of social policy, Disordered institutional surrounding, Methodology for soft systems, Methodological conception of making decisions on the basis of functions hierarchy of layers, Risk analysis.



2        Organized rape as an aspect of warfare


Bey, Deborah MSW, MPA

Doctoral Candidate in Social Work and Sociology University of Michigan

1036 South Main St #H-2

Ann Arbor , Michigan 48104

tel.: 734-213-0392



Organized rape has been an integral aspect of warfare for a long time even though classics on warfare have predominantly focused on theorizing "regular" warfare, that is, the situations in which one army encounters another in a battle to conquer or defend a territory. Recently, however, much attention has been paid to asymmetric warfare &, accordingly, to phenomena such as guerrilla tactics, terrorism, hostage taking & a range of identity-related aspects of war such as religious fundamentalism, holy war, ethnic cleansing & war rape. In fact, war rape can be taken as a perfect example of an asymmetric strategy. In war rape the soldier attacks a civilian (not a fellow combatant) & a woman (not another male soldier), & does this only indirectly with the aim of holding or taking a territory. The primary target here is to inflict trauma & through this to destroy family ties & group solidarity within the enemy camp. This article understands war rape as a fundamental way of abandoning subjects: rape is the mark of sovereignty stamped directly on the body, that is, it is essentially a bio-political strategy using (or better, abusing) the distinction between the self & the body. Through an analysis of the way rape was carried out by the predominantly paramilitary Serbian forces on Bosnian soil, this article theorizes a two-fold practice of abjection: through war rape an abject is introduced within the woman's body (sperm or forced pregnancy), transforming her into an abject-self rejected by the family, excluded by the community & quite often also the object of a self-hate, sometimes to the point of suicide. This understanding of war rape is developed in the article through a synthesis of the literature on abandonment (Agamben, Schmitt) & abjection (Bataille, Douglas, Kristeva) & concomitantly it is argued that the penetration of the woman's body works as a metaphor for the penetration of enemy lines. In addition it is argued that this bio-political strategy, like other forms of sovereignty, operates through the creation of an "inclusive exclusion". The woman & the community in question are inscribed within the enemy realm of power as those excluded.


In this paper we simulate how the potential social structure and health aspects of rape impact the economic well-being of individuals, families and community.

In February 2002, Human Rights Watch conducted research missions to refugee camps in Chad and to the displaced persons camps in South Darfur to determine patterns of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign by Sudanese government forces and militias. This document argues for immediate protection for the ethnic groups from which the rebel movements, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement, are supplied.



Excerpted from the author's (2001) Global Sex, the article explores the globalization of institutions & ideologies that link sex & politics. It views the changing attitudes toward sexuality through the lens of anthropology, feminism, & neo-Marxism, yet recognizes that sexuality & gender requires more nuanced understandings. The greater homogeneity & inequality byproduct of globalization are extending to practices concerning sexuality, gender, & the body. Among numerous examples explored are the changing structure & role of the family, & especially the impact of neo-liberal economics on the family. Greater affluence, urbanization, & foreign influences have brought changes in marriages, with less emphasis on social & economic arrangements & more on individualistic concerns. Yet, economic change has brought destabilizing forces that are destroying many families. Some developing countries are moving from the extended family relationships of pre-capitalism to the post nuclear family in one generation. Sexual practices in various countries, feminist issues, sex work, homosexuality, domestic violence, rape, & global travel in search of sexual freedoms are but a few of the topics discussed. L. A. Hoffman.


Sudan is a signatory to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, which dictates that civilians must be protected in times of war. Rape and sexual violence are crimes that target civilians almost exclusively. These acts were afforded the status of war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia . And in Rwanda 's criminal court, systematic rape was labeled genocide. These two decrees were a victory for campaigners for women's rights. But the prevalence of sexual violence in Darfur shows how little protection these decisions truly confer. Both Amnesty International and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees assert that in Sudan rape is widespread-and possibly systematic. If these claims are not sufficient to prompt international intervention then the legal framework for addressing these issues is too weak.


3 The effects of relational complexity on group performance

Results from an agent-based simulation model


Biggiero, Lucio

Full Prof. of Organization Science, LUISS University , Via O. Tommasini 1, Roma, 00162, Italy

Tel: +39 06 86506555,, E-mail:

University of L’Aquila, Piazza del Santuario 19, Roio Poggio, 67040, Italy

Tel: +39 0862 434861, E-mail:


Sevi, Enrico

PhD student, LUISS University, Via O. Tommasini 1, Roma, 00162, Italy

Tel: +39 06 86506555, E-mail:


The question of group performance is one of the most central in organization science. However until now the studies have been lacking theoretical clarity, formal demonstrations, and empirical tests. Focusing on technological interdependence, we will identify and define the fundamental types of systemic couplings: parallel, sequential and reciprocal (by feedback). Then we will precisely discuss and then simulate its characteristics and effects through an agent-based model. We measure and order the relational complexity, that is, the degree of complexity of each systemic coupling (technological interdependence between tasks). Group performance will be measured by means of two main indexes: effectiveness, which refers to the percentage of completed tasks respect to those potentially executable; and efficiency, which refers to the resources employed for getting the completed tasks. We analyze the variation of group performance depending on relational complexity.

The most general and important conclusions are that:

i)        listing in order of increasing degree of complexity, parallel is followed by sequential and then by reciprocal interdependence;

ii)      more complex interdependencies do require more complex norms. This latter conclusion is an exemplar confirmation of the law of requisite variety.


Keywords: agent-based models, complexity, coordination theory, group performance, law of requisite variety, organization science, theory of interdependence.



4 Aids in Africa is a Complex Societal Problem

DeTombe, Dorien (MSc.Ph.D.)

Chair International Research Society on Methodology of Societal

Complexity P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam , The Netherlands , Europe

Tel: +31 20 6927526



Africa is one of the continents that is severely attacked by the HIV/Aids epidemic. This threat was already well know in 1990. Nevertheless the governments in Africa as well as the World Health Organization were reluctant to take appropriate measurements at the moment it was possible to slow down the epidemic.  In Africa the HIV/Aids epidemic was too long denied; in the world the HIV/AIDS epidemic was too long regarded as a medical problem to which a medical intervention should be the answer, although it was clear from the beginning that at least in the first decade a medical answer (vaccination) was not possible. The exclusive emphasizing on a medical answer prevented other more adequate measures.

The HIV/Aids epidemic has an enormous impact on the continent of Africa, especially south from the Sahara . It is already unbalancing the equilibrium in organizations and in different states. The huge HIV/AIDS problem in Africa will increase to enormous proportions in the next ten years when not effective interventions are taken.

Only in the last years the HIV/Aids epidemic is seen as a complex societal problem. This means that it is not a solely healthcare problem, but a problem that influences all corners of the society.

Because it is a complex societal problem, the approach for the problem must be found in the field of Societal Complexity. An efficient way of handling this enormous complicated problem is by using the COMPRAM method (DeTombe). The COMPRAM is especially developed to handle complex societal problems (DeTombe, 1994; 2003)

The HIV/Aids problem is a complex societal problem which needs a structured integral strategic approach. This approach can be found with the COMPRAM approach. With the COMPRAM approach a better more sustainable interventions can be found, which saves lives and money by doing a mutually coordinated effort in attacking the problem in an integral structured way. A mutually integral approach increases the effects of the interventions on the society.

The COMPRAM approach is a guided and structured way of problem handling of huge societal problems. The approach recognizes that in this process knowledge, power and emotion play an important role. The method prescribes an integral approach including all aspects and all actors at an early moment in the problem handling process in order to find mutually acceptable solutions. The approach emphasizes defining the problem before looking for a solution, this prevents overlooking important aspects.

The problem handling process contains six major steps from analyzing the problem to evaluation of the results. In the first step the problem is approached as a knowledge problem where experts are invited to model the problem together. In the second step the problem is seen as a power problem in which the major actors are invited to give their view on the problem. In the third step experts and actors try to find solutions based on scenario’s of the problem. The group processes are guided by a facilitator who uses a scale of methods and tools to support the process. The facilitator acts on behalf of a problem owner.

Handling a problem in a more structured way then usual is done gives the opportunity get to overview of the problem, to see where interventions can be done, to anticipate on the interventions and to get an impression of the effect of the interventions. Trying to slow down the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the developing countries is a humanitarian obligation, and an economic demand, therefore one should use all effort, brains and power to slow down the disaster. One of the means we have here is using a structured problem handling approached from the filed of societal complexity of which the COMPRAM method is one.

DeTombe, Dorien (1994) Defining complex interdisciplinary societal problems. A theoretical study for constructing a co-operative problem analyzing method: the method COMPRAM. Amsterdam : Thesis publishers Amsterdam (thesis), 439 pp. ISBN 90 5170 302-3

DeTombe, Dorien (2003) Handling Complex Societal Problems (Applied on the Aids/HIV Problem) In Henk Becker and Frank Vanclay International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment Conceptual and Methodological Advances Edward Elgar Publishers 2003 ISBN 1 84064 935 6, page  296-315p



5 Simulation of Complexity


Dijkum, Cor van , Dr.
Department of Methodology and Statistics
Faculty of Social Science Utrecht University
Heidelberglaan 2 ,3584 CS Utrecht ,The Netherlands
tel. work: /31302534911
tel. home /31206622002



Our society is confronted with complex problems such as the pollution of our environment by our ever growing industry, the accelerated  spread of diseases such as aids, flue, sars, because our growing mobility and densely populations. Many stakeholders with different interests and viewpoints are involved in those problems and they are not of a constant nature but always evolving and changing in manifestation.

From a scientific point of view it not easy to analyze and handle those problems. They are complicated, to be approached by different disciplines, to be updated because of changing circumstances, but most of all to be framed in a different scientific logic than is in fashion in the social sciences. One has to enter a new way of reasoning such as is expressed in the mathematical language of complexity to understand the essence of complex problems.

First of all. The source of complex problems are, according to mathematicians, time related events that are processes. They are dynamic and as a consequence to be expressed in dynamic equations, that are differential equations. Secondly.  Those differential equations has to be non linear to grasp the essential pattern of those processes. Thirdly. Because one can not solve those non linear differential equations analytically one has to do computer simulation to get the outcome of these processes. In this way the unforeseen pattern of, for example, the spread of flue, expressed in non linear differential equations, can be better observed, understood and described in a qualitative way. With this, the natural sciences have made a mind shift and were better prepared for the surprises natural phenomena produces when you understand, simulate and observe well. For the social sciences the fascination of non linear differential equations will show up when one realize that human interaction can be understood and described by those equations. That is explored by economists, sociologists, in psychology, as well in other social sciences, such as a keen student can conclude from his exploration of interesting developments in the social sciences by using Google.

In this paper I will explain why complex human behavior can be better expressed in non linear differential equations than by linear multivariate models such as is normally done in the social sciences. The concept of feedback is introduced to demonstrate how recursive differential equations are more appropriate to describe behavior than linear multivariate models. Thereafter, the surprises of the simulation of a number of classic models of non linearity, such as the Verhulst equations of saturated growth, the Volterra-Lotka equations dealing with competing populations, and the self-organizing model of Prigogine will be revealed and explained. I will relate those explorations of non linearity with own empirical research of complex human behavior, in the field of health psychology, developmental psychology, criminology, linguistics and methodology. It will be showed how simulation research produces insight in human behavior. It will also be made clear how mathematical and statistical methods, supported by software such as Stella, Powersim, Madonna and Matlab, are useful for simulation research. In the end it  will be explained how non linear models can be confronted by empirical data and be validated also in a statistical way, for example by making use of a modified Kalman filter.


DeTombe D.J., & Dijkum C. van (1996) (Eds.). Analyzing Complex Societal Problems: a Methodological Approach. München : Rainier Hampp Verlag.

Dijkum C. van, DeTombe D., Kuijk E.. (1998) (Eds.) . Validation of Simulation Models. Amsterdam: Siswo.

Dijkum C. van, Landsheer H. (2000). Experimenting with a Non-linear Dynamic Model of Juvenile Criminal Behavior. Simulation & Gaming, Vol.31,No.4, 479-490.

Dijkum C. van (2001). A Methodology for Conducting Interdisciplinary Social Research. European Journal of Operational Research,Vol.128,Iss. 2, 290-299.

Zouwen H. van der , Dijkum C. van (2001). Towards a methodology for the empirical testing of complex social models. In: H. van der Zouwen & F. Geyer (eds.), Sociocybernetcs: complexity, autopoisis, and observation of social systems. (pp. 223-240). Westport : Greenwood Publishing Group.

Dijkum C. , Mens-Verhulst J. van, Kuijk E. van, Lam N. (2002), System Dynamic  Experiments with Non-linearity and a Rate of Learning, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Vol. 5, 3.

Schroots J., Dijkum C. van (2004). Autobiographical Memory Bump- A Dynamic Lifespan Model. Dynamical Psychology: An International, Interdisciplinary Journal  of Complex Mental Processes. (


6 The Relativity of Societal, Scientific and technological Progress – Need for a New World Order



This work “ The Relativity of Societal Scientific and technological Progress – Need for a New World Order’ has been jointly written by Prof. Dr. Timi Ecimovic[1], Sir Prof. Dr. Roger Haw[2], Dr. Elmar A Stuhler[3], Prof. Dr. Slavko Kulic, IOM[4], Arch. Drago Muvrin[5], Prof. Dr. Danijel Vrhovsek[6] and Prof. H.A.Shankaranarayana[7], Prof. Emeritus Dr. Matjaz Mulej[8], and Mr. S. Josip Tavcar[9].   This work has been written for ISA XVI World Congress of Sociology, Durban, South Africa on the sustainable future of our civilization, to be held between 23- 29 July 2006.





“Is there a need for a New World Order?”  This question has to be addressed if sustainable future, intended to harmonise civilization with nature is recognized as an important goal. 


This paper is a presentation of the methodology of the notification of complex societal problems and possible solutions by applying the system theory. System theory works at the levels of concept formation, analysis, synthesis and case study. With rapid societal changes and consequent challenges from nature, a great impact is felt on the climate.  To comprehend this and to evolve a methodology to adapt to this, our civilization should seek sustainable future as an immediate goal.  It is a slow and gradual process.  World peace should become an ideal.  As Gandhi stated, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  Thus, to attain such a harmony of one world, once peace, we have move towards the concept evolvement of One Earth, One Government, and One Society and its evolution.


Food, water, shelter, clothing and science are the sum total of the basic achievements of our civilization.  These are attained through human activities and are influencing our socio-economic system.  These are basic needs, the gratification of which is fulfilled through nature, space and environment.  These resources as water, land and air have become important issues.  Science can become a part of these issues, at the individual, national or global levels.


A new approach has been instituted to tackle the complex problems of research/scientific issues by adopting ‘Thinking Theory’ and ‘Case Study Research’.  This approach has given rise to a more dynamic view of LIFE, its ORIGIN, the present and future.


What is sustainable future? How do we co-opt science to maintain the harmony of our civilization through preservation of nature?


The scientific background of the presentation is book “System Thinking and Climate Change System (Against a Big “Tragedy of Commons” of all of us)” ISBN 961 – 236 – 380 – 3 displayed at , at which Dialectical System Theory (Mulej) and all other system theories have been reviewed.




Methodology, Complex Societal Issues, Case Study New World Order, World Peace, World Government, Water, Land and Air Environment, Science, Society, Civilization, Sustainable Future, Nature, Space and Environment Protection, the Climate Change System.





7 Visual Problem Appraisal ‘Kerala’s Coast’ - A simulation for learning on complex problems


Bert Enserink,

Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands, Phone:  +31.15.2788071, E-mail:


Loes Witteveen

Larenstein University of Professional Education, P.O. Box 7 , 7400 AA Deventer , The Netherlands Phone: +31.570.684643, E-mail:



Visual Problem Appraisal (VPA) is a realistic open simulation, constructed as a consultancy mission, positioning participants in the role of a consultant traveling to a foreign destination to analyze a complex situation. The VPA is a film-based simulation that aims to encourage and support (prospect) professionals to sharpen their analytical competencies by actively observing the explicit articulation of the various problem perceptions of the stakeholders encapsulated in filmed interviews.


In 2003, staff members of Indian and Dutch universities and Indian filmmakers produced a Visual Problem Appraisal (VPA) set about Coastal Zone management in Kerala, South India a tropical coastal area stressed by high population pressure and developmental activities. Rapid political and cultural changes and extreme social stratification add to the complexity of the issue. The VPA set is based on 23 interviews with stakeholders like policy makers, traditional fisherman, clam pickers, sand miners, trawler owners, researchers, environmentalist, and rice farmers. These stories witness the discrepancy between the coastal zone regulation act and the subsistence problems experienced by the coastal population. The policy maker exposes the good intentions incorporated in the coastal zone regulation and notifies the absence of a translation in the local language whilst the fisherman long for a different future for their children without being able to formulate concrete suggestions how to realize this wish. All interviews were filmed on location and combine a deep compassion for the various stakeholder perspectives with effective critical distance. Windows of opportunity can be extracted and policy makers and other stakeholder groups will be motivated to re-design policymaking and policy implementation.


VPA was designed to serve as a tool for training students in the international classroom in interpreting complex problems. VPA ‘Kerala’s Coast’ was made to be used as a  tool to train students of the master course Integrated Coastal Zone Management of Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), and of the Van Hall Institute, Larenstein University and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands .


Reactions from the film team, staffers and interviewees during the filming and production process lead to the idea that VPA might work as well as a tool for social learning for the direct stakeholders. Indications were the meetings with stakeholders they too had never met before and whose stories had been untold so far. The making of the VPA in that respect already showed that observing direct stakeholders on location and having people tell their own stories gives new insights.

Consequently we sought for an opportunity to test the hypotheses that the VPA might be a tool for social learning. In co-operation with CUSAT authorities we were able to organize and facilitate four two-day workshops with different publics, ranging from CUSAT students in coastal zone management, lecturers involved in Social Security Schemes to local stakeholders of the Thycattussery Block Panchayat and professionals of the department of Fisheries.


From the evaluations of the workshops we conclude that VPA are a good tool for social learning. Participants indicated they not only learned about integrated coastal management but  75% of the participants indicated they learned about the perspectives of the different stakeholders and 90% says that they now do understand better why people in the coastal zone act and work the way they do. Two/thirds indicated that participating in the VPA workshops changed their perspective on coastal zone problems, which we consider to be an indication of real social learning and the effectiveness of VPA.

In this paper we describe the design of the visual problem appraisal as a method for analyzing and structuring complex problems. We will present the evaluation outcomes of the use of VPA “Kerala’s Coast” both in the classroom and in the field experiment in Kerala, where it was tested as a tool for stimulating stakeholder dialogue and social learning.



For organizing and co-facilitating the Kerala workshops we are indebted to dr. A Ramachandran, director of examinations CUSAT, and dr. A.N. Balchand, professor at the School of Marine Sciences , CUSAT respectively.




8 A System Dynamics Model for Intentional Transmission of HIV/AIDS using Cross Impact Analysis


Linet Ozdamar

Izmir University of Economics, Sakarya Cad. No.156

35330, Balçova, Izmir Turkey

Email :,


Chandra Sekhar Pedamallu

Nanyang Technological University, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Div. of Systems and Engineering Management, Singapore



The system dynamics approach is a holistic way of solving problems in real – time scenarios. This paper proposes a system dynamics approach for modeling the phenomenon of intentional transmission of HIV/AIDS by non-disclosure. The model is developed using the Cross Impact Analysis method of relating entities and attributes relevant to the risky conduct of HIV+ individuals in a given community. The model can be simulated to predict the impacts of non-disclosure in the spread of HIV. It can also simulate the effects of intervention policies that can be adopted by policy makers.


Key words: HIV/AIDS, Intentional transmission, Cross-Impact Analysis, Policies.


9 The Methodology of Institutionalism in the Investigation of Migration Processes


Petrov, Vladimir

Head of the Department of Sociology of Kuban State

University ( Krasnodar , Russia ), member of Russian  

Association of  Sociologists (РOС) and International

Sociological Association (ISA)



Migration policy and social policy addressed to migrants, organization of managing the migration flows including problems of entry and departure, legal base of stay and capability of migrants, their position, status and roles in the definite territory, regulation of their interaction with local population and functional characteristics of migration – these all are spheres, where the institutional regulation of social interactions appears and exists.

    Institutionalization of migration process has its specific character determined by its structure and peculiarities of relationships, which arise and function under its influence. The structure of migration process represents the sum total of interdependent components: objective conditions, a subject of process and such subjective factors as goal, needs, social acts concerning satisfaction of needs, stimuli. Separate migrants and social groups of migrants interact with a releasing society and an accepting one through all stages of migration. This is accompanied by the forming of social relations and rising of different institutional forms by means of which interactions acquire the regulated character.

    The institutional approach to the analysis of migration processes allows characterize them through the system of concepts, such as social control, status, role, norms, rules, functions etc. A principal consideration of modern institutionalism theory refers to the understanding of importance of formal and informal restrictions for social interactions that are “game rules” established by people in society.

    The formal side of institutionalization of migration processes is contained in the fact that these processes, on one hand, possess their own institutional organization and, on the other hand, they are included in the sphere of institutional influence of economic, political and legal institutions, institutions of state administrative management, norms and rules of vast net of socio cultural institutions of a releasing society and an accepting one. At the same time the institutional forms such as non-state, public associations of migrants appear. These forms are realized in practice.

    The traffic of migrants and their stay at some territory are inevitably connected with the defining of their legal position and institutional restrictions regulating their stay at this territory. In the investigation of international migration there is a set of criteria and identifying procedures by means of which the status of a migrant in any cases of migration is defined in an accepting country. Factors institutionally influencing the right of entry and position of migrants in a country of stay are considered as such criteria. They are: citizenship, goal of stay, the fact that a person moved from one country to another.

    The status of a migrant is the sum total of expectations and demands prescribed by institutions of an accepting society, which a migrant or social group of migrants interacts with and which forms the field of social responsibilities and duties. The status of a migrant includes the legal definition of capability in an accepting society and social rights and possibilities in connection with definite territory and definite social space. Acceptance or rejection of demands of an accepting society divides labor migrants into legal and illegal ones by their status. Ethno social characteristics are imposed on social ones and they create the presentation about ethnic status of a migrant.

    In case of labor migrants attention is paid to the institutional organization of their interactions with an accepting society: simplicity/complexity, clarity/uncertainty of prescribed rules and consistency/inconsistency in their realization by an accepting side. They are such social institutions, which regulate:

1) entry (i.e. conditions of the right of entry defined by an accepting side);

2) stay (i.e. conditions and possibilities of goal realization, use of general and specific rights, responsibility connected with accordance to demands and expectations of an accepting side);

3) departure (i.e. voluntary departure, after the expiry date, or deportation and its conditions: order of putting it into practice, maintenance of people condemned to deportation, financing problem of such acts).

    Some debatable problems are seen in this perspective. What should the volume of necessary rights belonging to different categories of migrants in the space of rights and possibilities of an accepting society be? What should methods of control, conditions, possibilities and mechanisms of these rights be?

    It is extremely important to pay attention to restrictions existing, on one hand, as informal rules in an accepting society and, on the other hand, those, which are introduced into it by migrants as bearers of a special culture. The presence of these demands determines the contradiction of status and role characteristics of labor migrants. These characteristics include cultural patterns of behavior of that social community and ethnic group, previous identity of which was maintained with. At the same time these status and role characteristics contain prescription to familiarize with prevalent in an accepting environment cultural patterns and follow them. So, the idea of acceptable or convictable and in some cases prosecuted cultural patterns is created in the process of communication and social interaction of migrants with local population. Thus, the sphere of normative order, informal value expectations concerning migrants’ behavior, rules, demands and sanctions are established and they regulate social interactions between migrants and an accepting society.

    The prescription of migrants’ status and corresponding role expectations concerning their behavior is common for migrants and it is expressed in the stigmatization of a person by this indication. It obviously happens in case of ethnic migrants and those places where they form their communities. The stigmatization displays itself in existence of acquired control measures on location of labor migrants and their activities. It is really significant in accordance to the problem of terrorism, necessity of preventing and suppression of crime activities, which a part of migrants is involved in.

    Social interactions of migrants with an accepting society are connected with the necessity and attempts of some concordances: general formal rules of an accepting society creating possibilities of social interactions for all members of a society, formal rules of an accepting society created for migrants in the whole and their separate categories in particular; informal rules for labor migrants existing in an accepting society, on one hand, and informal cultural rules of migrants themselves, on the other hand.

    The possibility and processes of institutional concordances are difficult and complex because migrants have different degree of readiness to live and act in an accepting society, to conform to its formal and informal rules and expectations. It should be taken into consideration that the dominating subject of migration processes is representatives of ethnic groups with broken and destroyed institutionality for whom adaptation and integration in an accepting society acquires problematic character. Their informal restrictions accepted in their previous identity and originated from their native culture can’t be changed as reaction to the change of formal rules. Informal restrictions possess higher degree of inertness in comparison to possibilities of changing the formal rules. Informal rules are more stable while formal ones are more dynamic.

    Hence, we see that formal and informal institutions of an accepting society have great impact on migrants and determine their position and behavior.  In connection to this analysis the following definition of migration can be formulated: migration of population is the form of spatial flow, where transferences, entry and departure, status of stay and capability of migrants in places of new settlement are determined by social, political, legal, economic and cultural institutions which can be formal or informal. 


Keywords: accepting society, institutionalism, labor migrants, migration, releasing society  


10 Transdisciplinary case study methodology: a method for integrating complex societal issues in planning


Walter, Alexander I.

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Institute for Human-Environment Systems (HESS)

Natural and Social Science Interface (NSSI) , Transdisciplinary Case Study Research (TCSR)

ETH Zentrum HAD, 8092 Zurich , Switzerland


Wiek, Arnim

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Institute for Human-Environment Systems (HESS)

Natural and Social Science Interface (NSSI) , Transdisciplinary Case Study Research (TCSR)

ETH Zentrum HAD, 8092 Zurich , Switzerland



„Integrative“ has long been and still is a „magic“ word when it comes to planning processes dealing with ill-defined, large scale problems that are striving for sustainability. As desirable this concept is in theory, as difficult is its realization and validation in practice. Sustainability planning is a particular family of planning tools and methodologies, which focus especially on the ramifications of real-world, complex problem solving with the normative concept of sustainable development. If one, e.g., takes a typical case of city-regional development in middle Europe, it is clear that a multiple sectors and layers of the case, which are closely interlinked, have to be taken into account to derive development strategies. Sustainability planning strives to avoid conflicting developments of different sectors and layers, and to increase potential synergistic relationships. Integrative planning is a desirable concept, which is thought to provide some or all of the three following benefits:

1. to sustain and promote an integrative perspective on the case

- to avoid conflicting developments of sectors

- to identify synergy potentials between topics and agents

2. to increase efficiency of project management

3. to initiate and accompany co-operation between key agents

There is an extensive discussion in planning and decision-making literature about integrative approaches, covering the spectrum from Complex Problem Solving and Strategic Planning toTransition Management and Integrated Assessment (Mingers & Gill, 1997; Ravetz, 2000; Rotmans et al., 2000; DeTombe, 2001; Scholz & Tietje, 2002; Bell & Morse, 2003; Mingers & Rosenhead, 2004; Tress et al., 2005). There are also various integrative research programs on regional and urban development initiated in the last years (Integrated Development Programs; see as an example: But so far, the results have been not up the expectations: The deficits lie mainly in the disconnected decomposition and synthesis of the subject, insufficient (transdisciplinary) methodology, and a lack of embeddedness into the political process (cf. Eggenberger & Partidario, 2000).

The Transdisciplinary Case Study (TCS) methodology presented in this paper strives for an integrated, transdisciplinary planning process for sustainable development (cf. Ravetz, 2000).

Its final goal are development strategies based on a common system understanding,

transparent preference structures and shared future visions of all key agents. We expect it to lead to better decisions than traditional sectorized planning approaches, because it explicitly combines and integrates developments of the different sectors and layers of the system under evaluation. This is supposed to lead to decisions which are societal robust (Nowotny et a., 2001), have less conflicts in sectoral developments and are overall more sustainable. That means that these decisions have a lower risk of failure, because long- and short-term side effects are more likely to be taken into account with an integrative approach. The TCS methodology has been developed and applied for more than ten years at the Institute for Human-Environment Systems (HES) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich . It combines a scientific analysis of the problem in focus with an extensive participatory process. It was developed on an elaborated epistemology of complex problem solving, and explicitly strives for an integrated approach to the subject matter. To successfully attain the befits of integration, it relies on an elaborated epistemology, methodology, and project management (Scholz & Tietje, 2002; Scholz et al., 2005).

Regarding current pressures on planning and planners, our methodology tries to cope with the difficulties encountered in real planning situations: lack of data, high uncertainty, severe pressure of time and lack of legitimacy of the planners. TCS is not a methodology for designing all-encompassing masterplans, like planning experts have done in the 70ies, neither is it a reactive day-to-day management approach. With the TCS methodology we try to construct development strategies, which have a long-term perspective for development but at the same time give support for present decisions. The TCS methodology tries to identify, in which areas of the problem there is still freedom of action, which parts of the problem can act as levers to influence the whole system and what options and restrictions of different key agents are. It does not try to predict future system states, it rather points out possible paths, pitfalls and wrong perceptions of decisions regarding future development.

To reduce the complexity of the task of understanding, conceptualizing and analyzing the

problem, the TCS methodology is organized as a case study. A representative part of the

concerned system is identified by analytical tools and consultation with key agents. This part of the system is defined as the „case“, which is then analyzed in depth. According to Scholz & Tietje (2002), the case study approach is appropriate where the research phenomenon is a real social and natural system, whose historic dynamics have to be taken into account and which cannot be separated from its context. The case study approach used in the TCS is an explanatory design, trying to derive general insights from a concrete case. It is also embedded in the sense of Yin (1984) and Scholz & Tietje (2002) starting from and ending at the comprehension of the case as a whole in its real-world context. However, the case will be faceted either by different perspectives of inquiry or by several subunits. This faceting, which partitions the case for analysis, can be theory-based or based on natural units (e.g. the departments of a company) (cf. Scholz & Tietje, 2002). Thereby, the problems of case faceting or decomposition as well as of integration/synthesis occur. In this paper, we conceptually outline the basics of this integrative planning methodology for complex societal problems as well as the major steps to be taken to achieve an overall synthesis of sector-related single results (cf. Walter & Wiek, 2002). The second part of the paper will contain a case study, were the approach is explained in detail with a project on regional development undertaken in the Swiss canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden in the years 2001 and 2002.


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©Dorien J. DeTombe, All rights reserved, first announced  Februari 2006