Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. 6-11

List of Figures and Tables

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pp. 12-13

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Preface

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pp. 14-15

Some collections are brought together and issued rapidly. Others, such as ours, seek an integration which has a much longer gestation time. The origins of these papers go back to the Spring of 1969 when a small seminar group set to work exploring what could be made of the phenomenon of organized social...

PART ONE

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1. Organized Social Complexity:Explication of a Concept

Todd R. La Porte

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pp. 18-36

One particularly striking aspect of modern political and social development has been the capacity of men to construct social systems encompassing more and more groups. Our lives are bounded by agencies, organizations, combines...

Appendix I-A

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pp. 37-38

Appendix I-B

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pp. 39-40

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Technical Note

Daniel Metlay

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pp. 41-54

Any formal attempt to examine complexity must begin with definition. We are not considering here that mode formulated by Weaver as disorganized complexity

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2. Complexity and the Limitsof Human Understanding

Langdon Winner

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pp. 55-91

What follows is not the traditional academic essay moving smoothly from beginning to end, but rather a collection of interrelated but largely inconclusive arguments. You will find that each of the sections...

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3. Organizational Complexity in the New Industrial State:The Role of Technology

J. Serge Taylor

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pp. 92-131

This chapter will examine the proposition that technological progress causes systematically increasing levels of organized social complexity. A discussion of this relationship is necessarily embedded in a matrix of contemporary concerns...

PART TWO

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4. Complexity, Planning, and Public Order

John Gerard Ruggie

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pp. 134-165

Ours is an unhappy society. Not only has its medium of economic exchange been twice devalued in as many years, but the very words we use to describe that event and other politically significant ones have suffered...

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5. The Use of Systems Constructs in Simplifying Organized Social Complexity

Jay D. Starling

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pp. 166-187

Systems metaphors have flooded the worlds of thought and action.1 They have been adopted by many scholars and policy analysts looking for ways to improve our understanding of varied social phenomena. This mode of conceptualization has also...

PART THREE

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6. Analysis of Complex Systems:An Experiment and Its ImplicationsFor Policy Making

Garry D. Brewer

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pp. 190-234

Contemporary political and social systems are surely complex. Following Herbert Simon, we understand a complex system to be one made up of "a large number of parts that interact in a...

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7. On Studying the Future Behaviorof Complex Systems

Daniel Metlay

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pp. 235-265

Speculation on the political shape of the future has always preoccupied thoughtful men. Some of it has been idealistic: Plato's Republic projected the philosophically perfected state; Sir Thomas More in the sixteenth century contributed that piece of idyllic political speculation which...

Appendix A

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pp. 266-267

Appendix B

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pp. 268-270

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8. The Sorcerer's Apprentice:A Case Study of Complexity inEducational Institutions

D.J. Nias

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pp. 271-293

An essay based on a narrative of relatively insignificant events within a small section of the English system of higher education may seem slightly out of place among these chapters with high levels of conceptual and...

PART FOUR

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9. Complexity as a Theoretical Problem:Wider Perspectives in Political Theory

Harlan Wilson

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pp. 296-346

This chapter attempts to widen our common understanding of what "complexity" can mean, especially with reference to social and political institutions. Like other important concepts in social and political theory, "complexity" has taken on a set of...

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10. Complexity and Uncertainty: Challenge to Action

Todd R. La Porte

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pp. 347-371

The essays in this collection were written within a common frame of reference: the assumption that recent human experience is characterized by heightened levels of surprise born of growing organized complexity in social relations. We are caught somehow in spreading...

Bibliography

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pp. 372-385

Index

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pp. 386-389