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News ::
Chaos Analysis Questionnaire
16 Mar 2002
Give it a try!

By Roland Watson
roland (at)

Note: an example of a completed chaos analysis is given in the article Burma and Chaos Ė Updated. Also, the following analysis can be applied to any form and specific example of dictatorship.

For an understanding of the theory behind the questionnaire, please review the articles Introduction to Chaos Theory, and Chaos and Violence. (All articles can be viewed at

1. System
- What are the boundaries and general characteristics of the system which is subject to the dictatorship? What system requires global system change?
- Is there a larger system of which the dictatorial system forms a part, for which the defeat of the dictatorship is dependent on change in it?
- Are there any other global systems which influence the dictatorship, which through their actions increase or reduce its stability?

2. Equilibrium
- How strong is the dictatorship; what is the stability of its system equilibrium?
- What specific forces - power structures - maintain the equilibrium and give it its strength, both within the dictatorial system itself and within such other global systems? What attributes, policies, practices and conditions contribute to its stability?

3. Change
- If change requires a period of chaos and a phase transition, what are the different types of energy additions through which such chaos can be generated, and how much energy (how much chaos) is needed?
- What are the sources of such energy: the different groups, both internal and external, which are in opposition to the systemís own power structures?
- What specific steps or triggers could exert pressure on the systemís supporting power structures such that they break, and such that the overall system fails and chaos ensues?
- If chaos is created, what is required to ensure that a phase transition to democracy occurs, rather that a reversion to another form of dictatorship?

4. Prognosis
- What is the likelihood that such steps will be taken?
- What is the likelihood that the dictatorship will be defeated?
- What are the other possible outcomes, including a probability assessment for each?
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