Article

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. https://doi.org/10.20377/cgn-56

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

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

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2017
Date accepted by journal18/08/2016
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/24149
PublisherUniversity of Bamberg Press
ISSN2214-2991