State Profiles—"Real" & Cyber

In lateral pressure theory, the master variables—population, resource and technology—constitute the basis for identifying the state profile and to calculate a state’s profile type. The concept of profile was first developed early on with respect to the real world, as defined here. But it was not entirely clear how to move from concept to measurement. Recognizing that at each point in time, a state is characterized by one set of “master variables” that define the empirical parameters of the polity and provide the basis for policy agenda as well (Choucri and North 1987, 205–208), it soon became evident that normalizing each master variable to a share of the global total for that variable provides a simple and replicable approach to understanding not only the position of an individual state, but to shifts in the global total for any variable. Accordingly, the normalization technique used is country’s global share in the measures of population, resource and technology.

Thus, we define  Pi,j, Ri,j, and Ti,j as population-, resource- and technology- master variables for country i at time j respectively as follows:


pi,j, ri,j, and ti,j are the measures of population, resource and technology respectively for country i in year j.

In short, normalization allows the master variables to have the same order of magnitude and are independent of their units of measure. This step ensures that the profiles of differ­ ent states are comparable and meaningful.

Appendix 1 lists the indicators used for calculating master variables in cyber and real domain. Refer to Choucri and Clark (2019) for detailed calculaton methodology.

Table below provides evidence to answer the first question. It shows states with different profiles in the real and the cyber arenas, and identifies, in each case, the profile group within which they belong. This is a long list com­pared to the states with similar profiles, real and cyber, in Appendix 2, that is, states that retain their profile type across the real and cyber arenas. Countries with missing data are listed in Appendix 3.

States with different real and cyber profiles—by cyber profile.
Cyber State Profile (Real state profile in parenthesis)
R>P>T (I) P>R>T (II) P>T>R (III) R>T>P (IV) T>R>P (V) T>P>R (VI)
Australia (IV) Afghanistan (I) Vietnam (II) Costa Rica (III) Austria (VI) Latvia (IV)
Bangladesh (III) Algeria (I)   Italy (VI) Barbados2 (VI) Norway (V)
Benin (II) Angola (I)   Japan (VI) Belgium (VI)  
Brazil (IV) Antigua & Barbuda2 (VI) Portugal (VI) Bermuda2 (VIc)  
Bulgaria (II) Argentina (I)   Spain (VI) Canada (IV)  
Burkina Faso1(II) Azerbaijan (III)   United States (V) Denmark (VI)  
Burundi (II) Bahamas, The (V)     Estonia (IV)  
Cambodia1 (II) Bahrain1 (VIa)     France (VI)  
China (III) Belize (I)     Germany (VI)  
Cote d’Ivoire2 (II) Bhutan (I)     Hong Kong SAR, China (VI)
Croatia (VI) Bolivia (I)     Hungary (VI)  
El Salvador (III) Brunei Darussalam (VI)   Iceland (IV)  
Ethiopia3 (II) Cameroon (I)     Ireland (VI)  
Ghana2 (II) Chile (IV)     Israel (VI)  
Greece (VI) Colombia (I)     Korea, Rep. (VI)  
Grenada2 (III) Cyprus (VI)     Luxembourg (VI)  
Indonesia (II) Djibouti (Ia)     Malta (VI)  
Lithuania (V) Dominica2 (III)     Mauritius (III)  
Macao SAR, China (VI) Dominican Republic (III)   Netherlands (VI)  
Moldova (II) Fiji (I)     Singapore (VI)  
Nepal (II) Guyana (I)     Slovenia (VI)  
New Zealand (V) India (III)     Switzerland (VI)  
Romania (III) Jamaica (III)     Thailand (III)  
Senegal1 (II) Kazakhstan (IV)     United Kingdom (VI)  
Serbia (II) Kyrgyz Republic (I)        
Sierra Leone1 (II) Lebanon (III)        
Sri Lanka (III) Maldives5 (III)        
Tanzania (II) Oman (IVa)        
Togo (II) Panama (V)        
Uruguay (IV) Paraguay (I)        
  Peru (I)        
  Qatar (VI)        
  Russian Federation (IV)      
  Saudi Arabia (IV)        
  South Africa (I)        
  South Sudan1 (Ia)        
  St. Kitts and Nevis2 (VI)      
  St. Lucia2 (III)        
  St. Vincent & the Grenadines2 (III)      
  Sudan (I)        
  Trinidad & Tobago (VI)      
  Turkey (VI)        
  Tuvalu2 (III)        
  Vanuatu (I)        
  Venezuela, RB2 (IVc)        
  Yemen, Rep. (I)        
  Zambia (I)        
  Zimbabwe (I)        
Source: Choucri and Clark (2019).
Note: Cyber state profile is for year 2015 unless noted by an identifier: 12014; 22013; 32012; 52010. Real state profile, indicated in roman numerals in parenthesis, is for year 2016 unless noted by an identifier: a2015; c2013.

Given the recent construction of the cyber domain and the absence of compelling precedents, the matter of metrics will remain with us for some time to come. We now turn to metrics and measure for lateral pressure.


Choucri, Nazli, and Robert C. North. 1987. "Roots of War: The Master Variables." In The Quest for Peace: Transcending Collective Violence and War Among Societies, Cultures, and States, edited by R. Väyrynen, D. Senghaas, & C. Schmidt, 204–216. Paris: International Social Science Council.

Choucri, Nazli, and Gaurav Agarwal. 2017. "The Theory of Lateral Pressure: Highlights of Quantification and Empirical Analysis" In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Empirical International Relations Theory, edited by William R. Thompson. New York: Oxford University Press.

Choucri, Nazli, and David D. Clark. 2019. International Relations in the Cyber Age: The Co-Evolution Dilemma. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.