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Article in Journal ()

A critical discussion of complexity theory: how does 'complexity thinking' improve our understanding of politics and policymaking?

Citation
Cairney P & Geyer R (2017) A critical discussion of complexity theory: how does 'complexity thinking' improve our understanding of politics and policymaking?, Complexity, Governance and Networks, 3 (2), pp. 1-11.

Abstract
In this brief article, we present a critical discussion of complexity theory, asking: what does it really offer policy studies? We suggest that its stated advantages - interdisciplinarity, theoretical novelty, and empirical advance - are generally exaggerated and based more on hope than experience. In that context, we identify a cautiously positive role for complexity theory, primarily as a way to bridge academic and policymaker discussions and prompt important discussions of pragmatism in policymaking

Keywords
complexity theory; complex systems; politics; policymaking; interdisciplinarity; policy studies; Democratic accountability; Pragmatism

StatusPublished
AuthorsCairney Paul, Geyer Robert
Publication date2017
Date accepted by journal18/08/2016
PublisherUniversity of Bamberg Press
ISSN 2214-2991
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Complexity, Governance and Networks: Volume 3, Issue 2

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