Workshop 2

Social Complexity and Institutions

September 2013

Manchester University

Is there a link between emergence of societal patterns and institutions? Which institutionalisms (historical, rational choice, sociological) fit complexity theory better? Do all institutions involve social complexity? Do they emerge from the bottom, or are they enforced from the top? Are the research orientations and key insights of complexity theory and new institutional economics compatible?

The second workshop will address these questions and help clarify what exactly is meant by terms such as social complexity, emergence and institutions. The workshop will explore the potential for complex adaptive systems and institutionalist approaches to contribute to the understanding of societal and policy processes.

To this end we will bring together computational social scientists, evolutionary economists, innovation policy scholars with scholars from new institutional economics. The participants will benefit from the opening lecture which will be delivered by Professor Stan Metcalfe who is internationally recognised for his work in evolutionary economics and complexity theory.

The aim would be to encourage dialogue and explore avenues for joint working between these fields.

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