Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Richard F. Deckro, PhD.


Shaping the next century of global politics and power, United States-China relations comprise one of the most significant bilateral relationships in the world. A new era of unrestricted warfare is one example of how aggression from China could be very costly for the United States. The growth of democratic ideals within China decreases the risk of detrimental impacts according to democratic peace theory. This thesis explores a multifaceted system of relationships that regulate the diffusion of democratic ideology within China, as defined by a proxy-measure characterized as human rights by Freedom House. Relative deprivation theory coupled with an adapted Bass diffusion model are leveraged as constructs leading to the emergence of a social movement influencing Chinas system of government. Non-kinetic policy strategies directed towards reforming government are assessed utilizing system dynamics. Subsets within system dynamics theory, goal dynamics incorporating soft variables, are investigated and implemented within the model as a means to evaluate interactions between actors while accounting for competing objectives. The resulting model provides a pilot operational assessment of driving factors, marrying both policy and strategic influence objectives with mathematically structured analysis as applied to this realm of research. Results suggest areas of study for future development that potentially further United States objectives within China. Thus, this research illustrates the value of applying a system dynamics approach to connect quantitative and qualitative factors in a way that provides a more thorough understanding of complex geopolitical interactions.

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DTIC Accession Number