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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2017

Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy

Introduction and Essays on New and Changing Paradigms in Socio-Economic Thinking

  • Edited and authored by leading experts in the field

  • Introductory style aiming at a very broad readership

  • Provides an interdisciplinary perspective

Part of the book series: Understanding Complex Systems (UCS)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-viii
  2. Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy

    • Jeffrey Johnson, Paul Ormerod, Bridget Rosewell, Andrzej Nowak, Yi-Cheng Zhang
    Pages 1-17Open Access
  3. Economics

    • Paul Ormerod
    Pages 19-44Open Access
  4. Social Psychology and the Narrative Economy

    • Andrzej Nowak, Marta Kacprzyk-Murawska, Ewa Serwotka
    Pages 45-58Open Access
  5. Sociology and Non-Equilibrium Social Science

    • David Anzola, Peter Barbrook-Johnson, Mauricio Salgado, Nigel Gilbert
    Pages 59-69Open Access
  6. Geography Far from Equilibrium

    • Denise Pumain
    Pages 71-80Open Access
  7. Cities in Disequilibrium

    • Michael Batty
    Pages 81-96Open Access
  8. Global Political Dynamics and the Science of Complex Systems

    • Hilton L. Root
    Pages 97-109Open Access
  9. Systems, Networks, and Policy

    • Jeffrey Johnson, Joyce Fortune, Jane Bromley
    Pages 111-134Open Access
  10. The Information Economy

    • Yi-Cheng Zhang
    Pages 149-158Open Access
  11. Complexity Science and the Art of Policy Making

    • Bridget Rosewell
    Pages 159-178Open Access
  12. The Complexity of Government

    • Greg Fisher
    Pages 179-194Open Access
  13. Global Systems Science and Policy

    • Ralph Dum, Jeffrey Johnson
    Pages 209-225Open Access
  14. Back Matter

    Pages 227-232

About this book

The overall aim of this book, an outcome of the European FP7 FET Open NESS project, is to contribute to the ongoing effort to put the quantitative social sciences on a proper footing for the 21st century. A key focus is economics, and its implications on policy making, where the still dominant traditional approach increasingly struggles to capture the economic realities we observe in the world today - with vested interests getting too often in the way of real advances.

Insights into behavioral economics and modern computing techniques have made possible both the integration of larger information sets and the exploration of disequilibrium behavior. The domain-based chapters of this work illustrate how economic theory is the only branch of social sciences which still holds to its old paradigm of an equilibrium science - an assumption that has already been relaxed in all related fields of research in the light of recent advances in complex and dynamical systems theory and related data mining.

The other chapters give various takes on policy and decision making in this context. Written in nontechnical style throughout, with a mix of tutorial and essay-like contributions, this book will benefit all researchers, scientists, professionals and practitioners interested in learning about the 'thinking in complexity' to understand how socio-economic systems really work.


  • Behavioral economics
  • Complex socio-economic systems
  • Econophysics and Social Dynamics
  • Information economy and policy informatics
  • Paradigm shift in economic thinking
  • Social dynamics in policy
  • Quantitative social sciences
  • data-driven science, modeling and theory building
  • complexity
  • computational social sciences


“This book is one of the major outcomes of a European FET open project on Non-Equilibrium Social Science (NESS). … Reading a review about a book should also answer the most important question: ‘should I read this book?’. I would answer this question firmly affirmative. ... contain interesting new insights for most people as you get glimpses from perspectives of all disciplines. … I will recommend some of my colleagues and PhD students to also read it!” (Frank Dignum, JASSS,, Vol. 21 (1), 2018)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

    Jeffrey Johnson

  • Faculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

    Andrzej Nowak

  • London, United Kingdom

    Paul Ormerod

  • Volterrra Partners, London, United Kingdom

    Bridget Rosewell

  • Department of Physics, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland

    Yi-Cheng Zhang

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)