Evolution and the arts of civilisation


Room, G., 2012. Evolution and the arts of civilisation. Policy & Politics, 40 (4), pp. 453-471.

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    There have been many attempts to apply evolutionary models to social change. This article takes Darwin's account of artificial – as well as natural – selection as its starting point. It thereby brings together human intention and learning – the arts of civilisation – and the unintended processes of change with which evolutionary models are more usually concerned. It argues that policy science should be an evolutionary science, studying endogenous processes of technological and institutional transformation; but that it must be more than this, articulating political goals and policy trade-offs and illuminating the arts of civilisation as applied to society as a whole.


    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsRoom, G.
    DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Social & Policy Sciences
    Research CentresCentre for Analysis of Social Policy (CASP)
    Publisher StatementRomm_Policy_Politics_2012.pdf: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Policy and Politics. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Room, G. (2012). Evolution and the arts of civilisation. Policy and Politics, 40(4), 453-471 is available online at:
    ID Code28167


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