New tools for understanding a turbulent world? Thomas Homer-Dixon


Today’s social sciences have difficulty providing conceptual, analytic and predictive tools that help policy-makers and the public address contemporary global problems such as financial crises, energy shocks, food price spikes and climate change. In his Big Thinking lecture at Congress 2012, Thomas Homer-Dixon provides some guideposts to understanding complexity science and its potential relevance to practical social science. He suggests that policy advice from the social sciences often assumes individual rationality, an aggregation of individual rational choice into group behavior, the progression of social systems towards equilibrium, and, ultimately, calculable risk. Homer-Dixon argues that humankind’s most critical problems arise from emergent complex social and natural systems marked by deep uncertainty, positive and negative feedbacks and frequent instability.


One Response to “New tools for understanding a turbulent world? Thomas Homer-Dixon”

  1. CA Says:

    Network analysis remains another powerful tool:

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