Photo: P. Turander/Azote

Complexity and the Social Sciences

Complexity theory has gained a wide interest from the international research community and diverse fields such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, economy, geography and archaeology.

A crucial and common assumption is that the world can be analyzed as systems that are complex and adaptive, characterized by historical dependency, nonlinear dynamics, threshold effects, multiple basins of attraction, and limited predictability.

Despite current advances, little research has been undertaken on complexity in social systems. The following course intends to explore some of the generic characteristics of complex adaptive systems and discuss how they relate to social systems.

Does complexity theory really provide novel perspectives to social theory? Does complexity theory help us to create a common language between the natural and social sciences? And in that case, how does one apply complexity theory to studies of threshold effects, surprises and non-linear behaviour in social systems?

Main Themes
- Threshold behaviour in social systems
- Cross-scale interactions and surprises in social-ecological systems
- Emergent properties in social systems

The workshop/course is targeted towards researchers, doctoral and post-doctoral students. Include a CV and a short description (maximum one page) of your own research in your application.

The course will consist of a combination between traditional lectures, workshops and individual writing tasks. To qualify for course credits, participants will need to produce and present a paper at the end of the course.

Prof. Klas Åmark, Department of History, Stockholm University, Dr. Victor Galaz, Stockholm University, Henrik Ernstsson, Department of Systems Ecology (Stockholm University).

Guest Lecturers
Prof. Stephen Lansing, Santa Fe Institute (U.S.)
Prof. Bo Rothstein, Department of Political Science, Göteborg University
Prof. Lars-Erik Cederman, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich
Dr. Fredrik Liljeros, Department of Sociology, Stockholm University

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201