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History, Complexity, and Governance

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date5/11/2021
Host publicationGoverning Complexity in the 21st Century
EditorsNeil. E. Harrison, Robert Geyer
ISBN (Electronic)9780429296956
ISBN (Print)9780367276270, 0367276275
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameComplexity in Social Science


In addition to our policies, orderly and linear approaches also affect our understanding of history and time. This chapter explores the linkages between linearity and history, particularly as exemplified by the ideas of Isaac Newton, post-Newtonians, and Karl Marx. It then examines how this vision of linear human history and development shaped much of the broader 19th and early 20th century thinking. Next, it tracks the emergence of complexity in history from the work of Edward Carr to John Lewis Gaddis and the rise of chronometric, relational and course grained history. In concludes with a review of the continued appeal of linear directions to history and progress and then uses a ‘complexity cascade’ tool to visualise a more open and emergent vision of history and time and its implications for governance.