Workshop 3

Research methods for investigating complexity of social construction

12 June 2014

Surrey University

How can one study emergence, evolution, resilience and decline of institutions? Where do rules of the game come from in social reality, in game theory and in simulation models? Are models socially constructed? From heterogeneity of agents to representing multiple realities: What are the next steps? From path-dependence and bifurcation to dynamic social contexts: Which tools are most useful? From social network analysis to social embeddednes: Can relationships be quantified? Can meanings, identities or worldviews be modelled?

The third workshop will investigate these questions while exemplifying research that already employs relevant innovative approaches. The workshop will put together insights and conclusions of the first two workshops and look for practical research tools that can be used for new research directions.

For this purpose we will bring together qualitative researchers, complexity theorists and institutionalist scholars. The opening lecture by Professor Andy Stirling will address a new research tool called multicriteria mapping developed in Sussex University for supporting policy processes by demonstrating expected performances of policy alternatives according to multiple worldviews of the members of the public.

We will invite other scholars to present their research designs and methods to encourage a discussion about strengths and limitations of state of the art research tools in enabling researchers to follow innovative research avenues or researchers from different traditions to work together synergistically.

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