Handbooks of Research on Public Policy series
Edited by Robert Geyer and Paul Cairney
Chapter 10: Complexity modelling and application to policy research
The goal of this chapter is to keep complexity simple and to provide the basic theories, vocabulary, and applications of complexity science methodologies for extending and advancing policy research beyond the limitations of traditional research methods. Yet there are currently no agreed upon or rigorous definitions of complexity and what it entails (L. Johnson, 2009; Rescher, 1998). Complexity means unique things to various people within and across disciplines (L. Johnson, 2009; N. Johnson, 2009). What complexity means to the discipline of policy studies will be reviewed, as well as what it could mean in the future. To start, simple definitions of the types of systems are helpful for clarity and for developing models.
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