Complexity, Institutions and Public Policy: Agile Decision-Making in a Turbulent World

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175 Citations (SciVal)


Graham Room argues that conventional approaches to the conceptualisation and measurement of social and economic change are unsatisfactory. As a result, researchers are ill-equipped to offer policy advice. This book offers a new analytical approach, combining complexity science and institutionalism. It also provides tools for policy makers in turbulent times. Part 1 is concerned with the conceptualisation of socio-economic change. It integrates complexity science and institutionalism into a coherent ontology of social and policy dynamics. Part 2 is concerned with models and measurement. It combines some of the principal approaches developed in complexity analysis with models and methods drawn from mainstream social and political science. Part 3 offers empirical applications to public policy: the dynamics of social exclusion; the social dimension of knowledge economies; the current financial and economic crisis. These are supplemented by a toolkit for the practice of 'agile policy making'. This is a stimulating, provocative and highly original book. It will appeal to academics and students in social and policy studies and to a wide range of scholars in other disciplines where complexity science is already well-developed. It will also be of major interest for decision makers coping with complex and turbulent policy terrains.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCheltenham, U. K.
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd
Number of pages383
ISBN (Electronic)9780857932648
ISBN (Print)9780857932655, 9780857932631
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Governance and policy design


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