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Complexity And Co-Evolution: Continuity And Change In Socio-Economic Systems

Complexity And Co-Evolution: Continuity And Change In Socio-Economic Systems

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`Complexity theory first emerged three decades or so ago, but only recently has its potential relevance for the study of social and economic phenomena really begun to be recognised. This timely collection of essays clearly demonstrates, both conceptually and empirically, how complexity theory ideas can provide considerable insight into how socio-economic systems - cities, societies, industries, technologies and economies - evolve and adapt over time. It is essential reading for anyone interested in how order and evolution emerge out of the seemingly chaotic socio-economic world around us.'
- Ron Martin, University of Cambridge, UK


`I read Complexity and Co-Evolution with real pleasure. These authors have done the near impossible - they have made the concepts of a new and evolving science accessible to people who can apply it in practical ways. The clarity of writing reflects the sort of confidence only the truly informed can muster, for they need no jargon to cover confusions. Their mastery allows them to present the essentials in simple, unadorned forms and through genuinely illustrative examples. Any manager or director trying to navigate dynamic markets can use this book to learn new ways of thinking, explore new possibilities, and study historical experiences.'
- Robert Artigiani, United States Naval Academy


`Current thinking about evolutionary dynamics increasingly relies on co-evolution, and co-evolution increasingly implies complex dynamics of one sort or another. This volume brings together a capable and well-balanced group of thinkers on these topics who explore these deeply related concepts with up-to-date and advanced tools and concepts. For anyone wishing to learn about the latest developments in these rapidly developing areas, this book is highly recommended.'
- J. Barkley Rosser Jr., James Madison University, US


This book applies ideas and methods from the complexity perspective to key concerns in the social sciences, exploring co-evolutionary processes that have not yet been addressed in the technical or popular literature on complexity.


Authorities in a variety of fields - including evolutionary economics, innovation and regeneration studies, urban modelling and history - re-evaluate their disciplines within this framework. The book explores the complex dynamic processes that give rise to socio-economic change over space and time, with reference to empirical cases including the emergence of knowledge-intensive industries and decline of mature regions, the operation of innovative networks and the evolution of localities and cities. Sustainability is a persistent theme and the practicability of intervention is examined in the light of these perspectives.


Specialists in disciplines that include economics, evolutionary theory, innovation, industrial manufacturing, technology change, and archaeology will find much to interest them in this book. In addition, the strong interdisciplinary emphasis of the book will attract a non-specialist audience interested in keeping abreast of current theoretical and methodological approaches through evidence-based and practical examples.