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A NEW SYSTEMS THINKING: IMPLICATIONS OF THE SCIENCES OF COMPLEXITY FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION

GÖKTUĞ MORÇÖL
Public Administration Quarterly
Vol. 29, No. 3/4 (FALL 2005-WINTER 2006), pp. 297-320
Published by: SPAEF
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41288237
Page Count: 24
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A NEW SYSTEMS THINKING: IMPLICATIONS OF THE SCIENCES OF COMPLEXITY FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION
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Abstract

This paper discusses the implications of the sciences of complexity for public policy and administration. It is argued that the sciences of complexity have implications for our thinking in mainly three areas. First, they revise our conceptions of systems, causal relations, and determinism and depict a picture of mostly indeterministic reality composed of open systems. Second, they offer an "endophysical" and phenomenological view of system-observer relations. Third, although they are heavily quantitative, they illustrate the importance of qualitative interpretations in quantitative analyses and thus bridge the chasm between quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The insights of the sciences of complexity can help us improve our understanding of the complexities of public policy and administrative processes.

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