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System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  37 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Based on more than three decades of observation, Robert Jervis concludes in this provocative book 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 ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published January 17th 1999 by Princeton University Press (first published August 4th 1997)
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Hadrian
Sep 02, 2013 Hadrian rated it really liked it
This is a necessary book which combines parts of complexity theory and systems theory with political science and diplomacy.

International politics is complicated. It is difficult to determine causal relationships or even try to affect bilateral change. International politics is a system in that it is composed of multiple "units or elements [that] is interconnected so that changes in some elements or their relations produce changes in other parts of the system, and the entire system exhibits prope
...more
Matt
Jan 03, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it
Jervis outlines complex adaptive systems theory and provides substance to the methodology primarily through examples relating to international relations. Slow in parts, but provides interesting case studies--revisits WWI and the Cold War multiple times.
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Robert Jervis is the Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University, and has been a member of the faculty since 1980. Jervis was the recipient of the 1990 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Jervis is co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, a series published by Cornell University Press, and the member of numerous ...more
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