Science External Resources 2016-10-10T17:01:55+00:00

Social Complexity External Resources

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What is Social Resilience? Over the last decade, a growing body of literature has emerged which is concerned with the question of what form a promising concept of social resilience might take. In this article we argue that social resilience has the potential to be crafted into a coherent analytic framework that can build on scientific knowledge from the established concept of social vulnerability, and offer a fresh perspective on today’s challenges of global change. View Paper
Social Entropy Theory, Macro Accounting, and Entropy-Related Measures The concept of entropy has been widely applied in various disciplines, but often with different definitions of the term. The concept of entropy, conceived generically as a measure of system disorder, has a certain quality that begs for generalization across various types of systems. View Paper
Computational Social Science We live life in the network. We check our e-mails regularly, make mobile phone calls from almost any location, swipe transit cards to use public transportation, and make purchases with credit cards. View Paper
The Self-Organization of Social Movements The New Social Movement Approach and the Resource Mobilization Approach are the dominant approaches in social movement research. They focus either on macro-aspects and externalism or on micro-aspects and internalism. View Paper
Complex Adaptive Systems in the Behavioral and Social Sciences This article examines applications of complexity theory within the behavioral and social sciences. Specific attention is given to the fundamental characteristics of complex adaptive systems (CAS)–such as individuals, groups, and societies– including the underlying structure of CAS, the internal dynamics of evolving CAS, and how CAS respond to their environment. View Paper
Sociology, Chaos Theory & Complexity Science The ‘new science’ of complexity and chaos theory has grown rapidly in the last three decades aided enormously by the quantum expansion of computers and computing applications. Responding to the energy and enthusiasm of complexity scientists and publicists, social theorists have assimilated concepts of complexity and its potential impacts on sociological theory and social research. View Paper
Modelling Culture with Complex, Multi-dimensional, Multi-agent Systems Culture plays a significant role in human civilizations as a key determinant of relationships and organization formation, however, its role, key properties, and mechanisms are not yet fully understood. This work explores culture and cultural modelling from a complex systems, multi-dimensional, and multi-agency standpoint. View Paper
A Network Theory of Social Capital The concept of “social capital “has captured the imagination and attention of a wide range of scholars and professionals in diverse disciplines and practical arenas. Since the notion of social capital has generated multiple definitions, conceptualizations and empirical measurements… View Paper
Prospects of Complexity Theory in Revisiting System Theory The broadest meaning of governance is the regulation of social activities utilizing a variety of modes and mechanism of societal regulation. These range from collectively binding decisions to uncoordinated individual action guided by social norms and rationality principles. In the political science literature of the 1950s and 1960s this theoretical problem was treated in terms of “control” and “regulation” by variants of system theory. View Paper
On Network Theory Research on social networks has grown considerably in the last decade. However, there is a certain amount of confusion about network theory—for example, what it is, what is distinctive about it, and how to generate new theory. This paper attempts to remedy the situation by clarifying the fundamental concepts of the field (such as the network) and characterizing how network reasoning works. View Paper
Networks and Institutions Research on institutions and networks has proceeded on largely separate trajectories over the past few decades. The former is more associated with work in organizational and political sociology, and the latter serves as the wellspring of research in economic sociology. To be sure, a number of loose linkages exist between the subfields. View Paper

A Complex Systems Approach to the Study of Ideology

We propose a complex systems approach to the study of political belief systems, to overcome some of the fragmentation in the current scholarship on ideology. We review relevant work in psychology, sociology, and political science and identify major cleavages in the literature: the spatial vs. non-spatial divide… View Paper

Complexity Economics External Resources

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What Should Policymakers Know About Economic Complexity? This essay is written with two goals. The first is to outline the main ideas underlying the growing study of complex economic environments. The second is to suggest areas of public policy where those ideas might be important. Both goals are necessarily speculative. The study of complex systems, whether natural or social, is still in its infancy. View Paper
Path Dependence: ‘Historical Economics’ The concept of path dependence refers to a property of contingent, non-reversible dynamical processes, including a wide array of biological and social processes that can properly be described as ‘evolutionary’. To dispel existing confusions in the literature, and clarify the meaning and significance of path dependence for economists… View Paper
Economic Networks: What Do We Know? We examine the emergent field of economic networks and explore its ability to shed light on the global and volatile economy where credit, ownership, innovation, investment, and virtually every other economic activity is carried at a scale and scope that respects no geographical, organizational, or political boundaries. View Paper
From Simplistic to Complex Systems in Economics The applicability of complex systems theory in economics is evaluated and compared with standard approaches to economic theorizing based upon constrained optimization. A complex system is defined in the economic context and differentiated from complex systems in physiochemical and biological settings. View Paper
Complexity Economics: A Different Framework for Economic Thought This paper provides a logical framework for complexity economics. Complexity economics builds from the proposition that the economy is not necessarily in equilibrium: economic agents (firms, consumers, investors) constantly change their actions and strategies in response to the outcome they mutually create. View Paper
Fundamentals of Complex Evolving Systems Complex Evolving Systems (CES) are definitely not everyone´s bag – they are certainly not on the menu list of the favourite subjects of so-called “Mainstream Economics”. There are reasons for that, but they are not good enough. Therefore, this Primer is intended to help economists cover a deficit in understanding which is not only glaring but – given the current state of the world – has become patently unacceptable. View Paper
The Economy as a Complex Adaptive System In this broad-ranging book, Eric Beinhocker defends a vision of the economy as a complex adaptive system. The theory that explains the operation of the economic system he calls Complexity Economics. The Origin of Wealth is a frontal attack on Neoclassical economic theory. Beinhocker recognizes the successes of this theory, but locates them in the past. View Paper
The Stock Market as a Complex Adaptive System It is time to shift the emphasis of the debate about market efficiency. Most academics and practitioners agree that markets are efficient by a reasonable operational criterion: there is no systematic way to exploit opportunities for superior gains. View Paper
Rethinking Economics Using Complexity Theory In this paper we argue that if we want to find a more satisfactory approach to tackling the major socio-economic problems we are facing, we need to thoroughly rethink the basic assumptions of macroeconomics and financial theory. Making minor modifications to the standard models to remove “imperfections” is not enough, the whole framework needs to be revisited. View Paper
The Building Blocks of Economic Complexity For Adam Smith, wealth was related to the division of labor. As people and firms specialize in different activities, economic efficiency increases, suggesting that development is associated with an increase in the number of individual activities and with the complexity that emerges from the interactions between them. View Paper

Economic Complexity and Human Development

This book combines the human development approach and innovation economics in order to explore the effects that structural economic change has on human development. While economic diversification can provide valuable new social choices and capabilities, it also tends to lead to more complex decision processes and changes to the set of capabilities required by people to self-determine their future. View Paper
The Nature of Heterodox Economics Recent years have seen the emergence of numerous activities in economics identified first and foremost as heterodox. For example 1999 witnessed the formation of the Association for Heterodox Economics (AHE), an organisation that now sponsors an annual conference, postgraduate training workshops and more1 . View Paper

Systems Ecology External Resources

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Far-From-Equilibrium Physics: An Overview Isolated systems tend to evolve towards equilibrium, a special state that has been the focus of many-body research for a century. Yet much of the richness of the world around us arises from conditions far from equilibrium. Phenomena such as turbulence, earthquakes, fracture, and life itself occur only far from equilibrium. View Paper
Social complexity and sustainability Social complexity and sustainability emerge from successful problem solving, rather than directly from environmental conditions. Social complexity develops from problem solvingat all scales from local to national and international. Complexity in problem solving is an economic function, and can both support and hinder sustainability. Sustainability outcomes may take decades or centuries to develop. View Paper
Ecological Networks & Their Fragility Darwin used the metaphor of a ‘tangled bank’ to describe the complex interactions between species. Those interactions are varied: they can be antagonistic ones involving predation, herbivoryand parasitism, or mutualistic ones, such as those involving the pollination of flowers by insects. View Paper
Understanding the Complexity of Economic, Ecological, and Social Systems Hierarchies and adaptive cycles comprise the basis of ecosystems and social-ecological systems across scales. Together they form a panarchy. The panarchy describes how a healthy system can invent and experiment, benefiting from inventions that create opportunity while being kept safe from those that destabilize because of their nature or excessive exuberance. View Paper
Complexity, Modeling, and Natural Resource Management This paper contends that natural resource management (NRM) issues are, by their very nature, complex and that both scientists and managers in this broad field will benefit from a theoretical understanding of complex systems. View Paper
Regime Shifts Resilience & Biodiversity We review the evidence of regime shifts in terrestrial and aquatic environments in relation to resilience of complex adaptive ecosystems and the functional roles of biological diversity in this context. The evidence reveals that the likelihood of regime shifts may increase when humans reduce resilience by such actions as removing response diversity, removing whole functional… View Paper
The Rise of Network Ecology  In recent years recurring political, economic, and environmental crises require questioning and re-evaluating dominant pathways of human development. However, political and economic frameworks seem to encompass deeply rooted resistance to fundamental changes (e.g., global financial crisis, climate change negotiations). View Paper
Continuity and Change in Social-ecological Systems In recent years recurring political, economic, and environmental crises require questioning and re-evaluating dominant pathways of human development. However, political and economic frameworks seem to encompass deeply rooted resistance to fundamental changes (e.g., global financial crisis, climate change negotiations). In an effort to repair the system as fast as possible, those paradigms, mechanisms, and structures that led into the crisis are perpetuated. View Paper
Resilience: Perspective for Social–Ecological Systems Analyses The resilience perspective is increasingly used as an approach for understanding the dynamics of social–ecological systems. This article presents the origin of the resilience perspective and provides an overview of its development to date. With roots in one branch of ecology and the discovery of multiple basins of attraction in ecosystems in the 1960–1970s, it inspired social and environmental scientists to challenge the dominant stable equilibrium view. View Paper
Complex Systems Theory and Biodynamics Systems biology is a biology-based inter-disciplinary study field that focuses on the systematic study of complex interactions in biological systems, thus using a new perspective (holism instead of reduction) to study them. Particularly from year 2000 onwards, the term is used widely in the biosciences, and in a variety of contexts. View Paper
Complex Systems & Valuation Ecological and economic systems are undeniably complex. Whereas a goal of delineating ‘ecosystem services’ is to make readily apparent some of the important ways in which ecosystems underpin human welfare, insights are also gained by appreciating the nonlinear dynamic properties of ecosystems. In this paper, we review some of the relevant characteristics of complex systems. View Paper
Ecosystems and the Biosphere as Complex Adaptive Systems Ecosystems are prototypical examples of complex adaptive systems, in which patterns at higher levels emerge from localized interactions and selection processes acting at lower levels. An essential aspect of such systems is nonlinearity, leading to historical dependency and multiple possible outcomes of dynamics. View Paper
Complexity in Ecological Systems Ecology has been eminently a descriptive science despite some pioneering work by theoreticians such as Lotka, Volterra, Nicholson, and others. Description is a first step toward understanding a system. However, such a first step needs to be accompanied by the development of a theoretical framework in order to achieve real insight and, whenever possible, predictive power. View Paper