System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life

We live in a world where things are interconnected and where the total effect of behavior is not equal to the sum of individual actions.

Jervis, Robert, System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life, Princeton University Press, 1997.

Based on more than three decades of observation, System Effects, Complexity in Political and Social Life by Robert Jervis concludes that the very foundations of many social science theories--especially those in political science--are faulty.

Taking insights from complexity theory as his point of departure, the author observes that we live in a world where things are interconnected, where unintended consequences of our actions are unavoidable and unpredictable, and where the total effect of behavior is not equal to the sum of individual actions.

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