Handbooks of Research on Public Policy series
Edited by Robert Geyer and Paul Cairney
The aim of this Handbook is to improve the theory and practice of policymaking by drawing on the theory, concepts, tools and metaphors of complexity. In both theory and practice, the key aim is to advance ‘complexity thinking’, which describes a way to understand and explain the policymaking world, act accordingly, and invite others to do the same. To do this, the Handbook brings together a wide range of specialists to address these issues from different angles: disciplinary specialists examining how complexity thinking influences the study of topics such as the law, philosophy and politics; interdisciplinary teams examining how best to model or describe complex systems; case study specialists explaining the outcomes of real world events; and scholars and practitioners examining how to ‘translate’ complexity theory into ‘simple’ policymaking advice. This is an ambitious project which applies a new theoretical approach to the philosophy, methodology and real world case studies and practice of politics and policymaking. Its ambition is in keeping with the approach of many well-established complexity theorists. It is common in the complexity theory literature to make bold claims about its novelty, reach and explanatory power: to say that it is radically new; a scientific revolution that will change the way we think about, and study, the natural and social world.