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The Challenge to Policymaking of Large-Scale Systems

Kenyon B. De Greene

Journal of Theoretical Politics, 1994, vol. 6, issue 2, 161-188

Abstract: The intersecting global societal and natural-environmental systems are described in terms of evolution, instability and structural change. Systems theory, particularly a number of constructs from dissipative-structure theory and synergetics, are applied in this description. The policy meaning of dynamic, reconfigurational systems change and the need for new kinds of policies to fit such change are emphasized. The history of systems support for policymaking is reviewed. The 1990s are interpreted as representing a coalescence of several `exhausted' evolutionary cycles/structures including the Fourth Kondratiev, the Great Power hegemony, and the Newtonian paradigm of science and society. In addition, the natural environment is interpreted as being in a state approaching catastrophic collapse. Accordingly, the 1990s are considered to present an emergent window of opportunity for the development of new kinds of policies. Several recommendations for further work are made.

Keywords: deterministic chaos; dissipative-structure theory; Kondratiev cycle/structure; policy analysis and advice; policy development; synergetics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1994
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