Agent-based models

Blog entries related to agent-based modelling

Article summary for the LSE's EUROPP blog

I have written a summary of my article on 'Coalition-Building and Consensus in the Council of the European Union' for the LSE's European Politics and Policy blog. The articles came out in print this week in the British Journal of Political Science. A copy of the article is available here.

BJPS article on Council coalition building online

My paper on Coalition-Building and Consensus in the Council of the European Union has been pre-published by the British Journal of Political Science as part of their FirstView online service.


Although qualified-majority voting is possible, member states in the Council of the European Union
(EU) still adopt most policies by consensus. The agent-based model of coalition building in multilateral
negotiations presented here addresses this puzzle. The model demonstrates that consensual decisions may
emerge as an unintended by-product of government representatives’ desire to form blocking coalitions.
A qualitative case study demonstrates the plausibility of the model’s assumptions and resulting coalitionbuilding
dynamics. Moreover, a quantitative test shows that the model’s predictions correspond closely
to the observed consensus rates. Finally, computational experiments predict a positive effect of the voting
threshold but no effect of increases in membership on winning coalition size, which has important
practical implications for institutional design and enlargement policy.

Presentation of agent-based model of decision-making duration at ECPR conference

I presented a paper on 'The Duration of Multilateral Negotiations in the Council of the European Union' at this year's ECPR General Conference in Reykjavik (25-27 August). The paper formed part of the Computer Simulation and Agent Based Modelling in Political Science panel. The mainly theoretical paper describes an agent-based model of coalition-building that allows the generation of direct hypotheses about the effects of preference configurations, impatience levels, and group size on decision-making duration. The presentation and paper is available here.

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