Modelling population dynamics of social protests in time and space: The reaction-diffusion approach

Understanding of the dynamics of riots, protests, and social unrest more generally is important in order to ensure a stable, sustainable development of various social groups, as well as the society as a whole. Mathematical models of social dynamics have been increasingly recognized as a powerful research tool to facilitate the progress in this field. However, the question as to what should be an adequate mathematical framework to describe the corresponding social processes is largely open. In particular, a great majority of the previous studies dealt with non-spatial or spatially implicit systems, but the literature dealing with spatial systems remains meagre. Meanwhile, in many cases, the dynamics of social protests has a clear spatial aspect. In this paper, we attempt to close this gap partially by considering a spatial extension of a few recently developed models of social protests. We show that even a straightforward spatial extension immediately bring new dynamical behaviours, in particular predicting a new scenario of the protests' termination.