Complexity theory and implications for policy development


Boulton, J., 2010. Complexity theory and implications for policy development. Emergence: Complexity and Organisation, 12 (2), pp. 31-40.

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Complexity theory presents to us a view of the world as essentially systemic, interconnected: where the future emerges and cannot be predicted, and where diversity is essential for adaptation and change. This paper will explore what such a worldview implies for policy makers. Conclusions centre on the need for policies and regulatory frameworks to be inter-connected and handle explicitly the sometimes conflicting objectives of economics, the environment and concerns for social justice; emphasis is given to the need for policies to be 'live', dynamic, able to respond to potential unintended outcomes. The issue of global governance and the role, in this, of social movements, is raised.


Item Type Articles
CreatorsBoulton, J.
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DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Social & Policy Sciences
School of Management
ID Code26605


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