complexity theory and the social sciences the state of the art

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Complexity Theory And The Social Sciences

Author : David Byrne
ISBN : 9781134084982
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 47. 3 MB
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For the past two decades, ‘complexity’ has informed a range of work across the social sciences. There are diverse schools of complexity thinking, and authors have used these ideas in a multiplicity of ways, from health inequalities to the organization of large scale firms. Some understand complexity as emergence from the rule-based interactions of simple agents and explore it through agent-based modelling. Others argue against such ‘restricted complexity’ and for the development of case-based narratives deploying a much wider set of approaches and techniques. Major social theorists have been reinterpreted through a complexity lens and the whole methodological programme of the social sciences has been recast in complexity terms. In four parts, this book seeks to establish ‘the state of the art’ of complexity-informed social science as it stands now, examining: the key issues in complexity theory the implications of complexity theory for social theory the methodology and methods of complexity theory complexity within disciplines and fields. It also points ways forward towards a complexity-informed social science for the twenty-first century, investigating the argument for a post-disciplinary, ‘open’ social science. Byrne and Callaghan consider how this might be developed as a programme of teaching and research within social science. This book will be particularly relevant for, and interesting to, students and scholars of social research methods, social theory, business and organization studies, health, education, urban studies and development studies.

Complexity Theory And The Social Sciences

Author : David Byrne
ISBN : 9781134714742
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 82. 79 MB
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Chaos and complexity are the new buzz words in both science and contemporary society. The ideas they represent have enormous implications for the way we understand and engage with the world. Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences introduces students to the central ideas which surround the chaos/complexity theories. It discusses key concepts before using them as a way of investigating the nature of social research. By applying them to such familiar topics as urban studies, education and health, David Byrne allows readers new to the subject to appreciate the contribution which complexity theory can make to social research and to illuminating the crucial social issues of our day.

A Complexity Theory For Public Policy

Author : Göktuğ Morçöl
ISBN : 9781136283475
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 48. 28 MB
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Complexity theory has become popular in the natural and social sciences over the last few decades as a result of the advancements in our understanding of the complexities in natural and social phenomena. Concepts and methods of complexity theory have been applied by scholars of public affairs in North America and Europe, but a comprehensive framework for these applications is lacking. A Complexity Theory for Public Policy proposes a conceptual synthesis and sets a foundation for future developments and applications. In this book, Göktuğ Morçöl convincingly makes the case that complexity theory can help us understand better the self-organizational, emergent, and co-evolutionary characteristics of complex policy systems. In doing so, he discuss the epistemological implications of complexity theory and the methods complexity researchers use, and those methods they could use. As the complexity studies spread more around the world in the coming decades, the contents of this book will become appealing to larger audiences, particularly to scholars and graduate students in public affairs. The unique combination of synthesis and explanation of concepts and methods found in this book will serve as reference frames for future works.

Complexity Theory And The Philosophy Of Education

Author : Mark Mason
ISBN : 9781444307368
Genre : Education
File Size : 21. 85 MB
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A collection of scholarly essays, Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education provides an accessible theoretical introduction to the topic of complexity theory while considering its broader implications for educational change. Explains the contributions of complexity theory to philosophy of education, curriculum, and educational research Brings together new research by an international team of contributors Debates issues ranging from the culture of curriculum, to the implications of work of key philosophers such as Foucault and John Dewey for educational change Demonstrates how social scientists and social and education policy makers are drawing on complexity theory to answer questions such as: why is it that education decision-makers are so resistant to change; how does change in education happen; and what does it take to make these changes sustainable? Considers changes in use of complexity theory; developed principally in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, and economics, and now being applied more broadly to the social sciences and to the study of education

Complexity And Postmodernism

Author : Paul Cilliers
ISBN : 9781134743292
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 70. 89 MB
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In Complexity and Postmodernism, Paul Cilliers explores the idea of complexity in the light of contemporary perspectives from philosophy and science. Cilliers offers us a unique approach to understanding complexity and computational theory by integrating postmodern theory (like that of Derrida and Lyotard) into his discussion. Complexity and Postmodernism is an exciting and an original book that should be read by anyone interested in gaining a fresh understanding of complexity, postmodernism and connectionism.

Complexity And The Art Of Public Policy

Author : David Colander
ISBN : 9781400850136
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 30. 24 MB
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Complexity science—made possible by modern analytical and computational advances—is changing the way we think about social systems and social theory. Unfortunately, economists' policy models have not kept up and are stuck in either a market fundamentalist or government control narrative. While these standard narratives are useful in some cases, they are damaging in others, directing thinking away from creative, innovative policy solutions. Complexity and the Art of Public Policy outlines a new, more flexible policy narrative, which envisions society as a complex evolving system that is uncontrollable but can be influenced. David Colander and Roland Kupers describe how economists and society became locked into the current policy framework, and lay out fresh alternatives for framing policy questions. Offering original solutions to stubborn problems, the complexity narrative builds on broader philosophical traditions, such as those in the work of John Stuart Mill, to suggest initiatives that the authors call "activist laissez-faire" policies. Colander and Kupers develop innovative bottom-up solutions that, through new institutional structures such as for-benefit corporations, channel individuals’ social instincts into solving societal problems, making profits a tool for change rather than a goal. They argue that a central role for government in this complexity framework is to foster an ecostructure within which diverse forms of social entrepreneurship can emerge and blossom.

Handbook Of Research Methods In Complexity Science

Author : Eve Mitleton-Kelly
ISBN : 9781785364426
Genre :
File Size : 84. 90 MB
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This comprehensive Handbook is aimed at both academic researchers and practitioners in the field of complexity science. The book’s 26 chapters, specially written by leading experts, provide in-depth coverage of research methods based on the sciences of complexity. The research methods presented are illustratively applied to practical cases and are readily accessible to researchers and decision makers alike.

A Crude Look At The Whole

Author : John Miller
ISBN : 9780465073863
Genre : Science
File Size : 66. 13 MB
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Imagine trying to understand a stained glass window by breaking it into pieces and examining it one shard at a time. While you could probably learn a lot about each piece, you would have no idea about what the entire picture looks like. This is reductionism—the idea that to understand the world we only need to study its pieces—and it is how most social scientists approach their work. In A Crude Look at the Whole, social scientist and economist John H. Miller shows why we need to start looking at whole pictures. For one thing, whether we are talking about stock markets, computer networks, or biological organisms, individual parts only make sense when we remember that they are part of larger wholes. And perhaps more importantly, those wholes can take on behaviors that are strikingly different from that of their pieces. Miller, a leading expert in the computational study of complex adaptive systems, reveals astounding global patterns linking the organization of otherwise radically different structures: It might seem crude, but a beehive’s temperature control system can help predict market fluctuations and a mammal’s heartbeat can help us understand the “heartbeat” of a city and adapt urban planning accordingly. From enduring racial segregation to sudden stock market disasters, once we start drawing links between complex systems, we can start solving what otherwise might be totally intractable problems. Thanks to this revolutionary perspective, we can finally transcend the limits of reductionism and discover crucial new ideas. Scientifically founded and beautifully written, A Crude Look at the Whole is a powerful exploration of the challenges that we face as a society. As it reveals, taking the crude look might be the only way to truly see.

Agile Actors On Complex Terrains

Author : Graham Room
ISBN : 9781317338062
Genre : Health & Fitness
File Size : 24. 75 MB
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This book assesses the value and relevance of the literature on complex systems to policy-making, contributing to both social theory and policy analysis. For this purpose it develops two key ideas: agile action and transformative realism. The book takes some major themes from complexity science, presents them in a clear and accessible manner and applies them to core problems in sociological theory and policy analysis. Combining complexity science with perspectives from institutionalism and political economy, this book is the first to integrate these fields conceptually, methodologically and in terms of the implications for policy analysis and practice. Room shows how the models and methods of social and complexity science can be jointly deployed and applied to empirical areas of public policy. He demonstrates how complexity science can provide insight into the nonlinear dynamics of the social world, but why these need to be understood by reference to the unequal distribution of power and advantage. Among the sociological debates with which the book engages are those concerned with causation and explanation, rational action and positional competition, and the place of evolutionary concepts in accounts of social change. Among the policy debates are those concerned with evidence and policy, the dynamics of inequality, and libertarian paternalism. The book will appeal to final year undergraduates and postgraduate students in social sciences; scholars in social and policy studies broadly defined; policy-makers who want to go beyond conventional discussions of evidence-based policy-making and cross-national lesson-drawing, and consider how to approach complex and turbulent policy terrains; and a wider range of scholars in other disciplines where complexity science is already well developed.

Chaos Complexity Curriculum And Culture

Author : William E. Doll
ISBN : 0820467804
Genre : Education
File Size : 44. 62 MB
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Although the fields of chaos and complexity are important in a number of disciplines, they have not yet been influential in education. This book remedies this dilemma by gathering essays by authors from around the world who have studied and applied chaos and complexity theories to their teaching. Rich in its material, recursive in its interweaving of themes, conversational in its relationships, and rigorous in its analysis, the book is essential reading for undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals who deal with these important topics.

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