European Political Boundaries as the Outcome of a Self-Organizing Process
Keywords: coalition formation, national borders, mixed integer programming
Political economy theories predict certain confi gurations of national boundaries, but these have not been calculated because of computational diffi culties. Taking advantage of advances in mixed integer programming algorithms, we compute predicted political boundaries for Europe using a simple theoretical model taken from the literature: the size and arrangement of countries is determined by a tradeoff between effi ciencies of scale and geographic heterogeneity. The model shows that the “natural borders” that lead to states emerging in certain confi gurations do not need to be particularly extreme, and a small number of these geographic features can influence the configuration of boundaries over a larger area. Our results show how real-world political boundaries can be described by a simple one parameter theoretical model that ignores many of the proximate causes of boundary changes.
（更新日： 2023年 3月23日）