Social Dynamics

Bart Nooteboom


What theories are there of social dynamics, of the emergence, adaptation, resilience, collapse or decay, of social systems such as organisations, communities, networks, cliques and teams? In chapter 1, I consider evolutionary theory, in biology, economics, sociology and psychology. In chapter 2 I consult the literature on Complex Adaptive Systems, and its applicability to social systems. Social systems are distinctive, in being intentional and reflexive, with intentions depending on outcomes. In chapter 3 I focus on social systems: their variety, the role of language, the relation between self and other, network effects, and their collapse, resilience and rigidity.

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