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Insights from Complexity Theory for Peace and Conflict Studies

Synonyms

Complexity; Complex adaptive systems; Conflict resolution; Peacebuilding; Emergence; Self-organization; Adaptation; Uncertainty; Resilience

Description

We often hear it said that a particular conflict is complex or that conflict resolution and peacebuilding are a complex undertaking. Beyond this commonsense use of the term, complexity theory, applied to the social world, can offer insights about social behavior and relations that are highly relevant for peace and conflict studies. Complexity theory offers a theoretical framework helpful for understanding how complex social systems can prevent, manage, transform, or recover from violent conflict. Insights from complexity theory about how best to influence the behavior of complex systems, how such systems respond to pressure, and how to avoid unintended consequences should thus be valuable for peace and conflict studies.

Introduction

The use of complexity theory is growing in political science and international relations...

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Correspondence to Cedric de Coning .

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de Coning, C. (2020). Insights from Complexity Theory for Peace and Conflict Studies. In: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11795-5_134-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11795-5_134-1

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-11795-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-11795-5

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