Modelling the Outcomes of International Crises Using Confrontation Analysis

John Curry, Dana Ruggiero, Philip Anthony Graham Sabin, Michael Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
367 Downloads (Pure)


This article explores the professional application of Professor Nigel Howard’s 1998 Confrontation Analysis method of modelling political conflicts. The Confrontation Analysis methodology was applied to the design of a political-military (pol-mil) game held at the UK’s Defence Academy in 2011 to examine the future course of the then current Libyan Civil War. Confrontation Analysis provides a structured schema to help identify the parties involved in a dispute, highlight the differences in their narratives, find the subsequent dilemmas and attempt to resolve them to move the situation on. This helps provide rigour to analysis, negotiation and decision making as it clearly documents initial policy positions and subsequent changes through the use of cards which summarise each stakeholder’s position at each stage. The methodology, used in conjunction with role-play and multi-player teams, was found to have some utility, not in forecasting detailed outcomes, but in highlighting key aspects of the potential development of the situation. This research concluded that Confrontation Analysis can make a significant contribution to understanding and analyzing international crises as well as assisting in formulating successful national policy. Confrontation Analysis can also be an invaluable part of a learning process for analysts and key decision makers facing real crises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-328
Number of pages15
JournalSimulation & Gaming
Issue number3
Early online date20 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


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