Complexity is a systemic property. Whether in the physical or social realms, if individuals are independent or even weakly interdependent no complex physical or social structure will emerge; connectivity and interaction are necessary conditions for the emergence of complexity. The rich interactions between real complex adaptive systems and their environment also mean that because a given domain “is connected to other domains in various ways, the effects of those changes might propagate through the system and out into other domains in the world, inducing changes of various degrees on all scales. Those effects might eventually travel back and lead to the disappearance of the original domain or transform its dynamics” Therefore only complex dynamical systems theory and its related disciplines and tools – network theory, agent-based modeling – provide the appropriate prism through which interdependent systems such as social groups can be understood, and coherent, integrated policy recommended.
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