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

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Article number56
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Complexity, Governance and Networks
Issue number2
Number of pages11
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this article, we present a critical discussion of complexity theory. We ask: 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 by identifying the role of pragmatic responses to complexity in policymaking.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.