Posts Tagged ‘complex systems theory’

The decline of civilization – sudden or gradual?

April 7, 2010
Thomas Cole The Course of Empire 1836: Consummation

'empires are complex systems'

Quick, quick, slow – the dance steps of collapse

What kinds of stories are we telling one another these days about the fall of civilizations? The idea that the decline of a civilization is without narrative causality is itself a narrative. This is the unacknowledged ideology of historian Niall Ferguson’s recent piece for Foreign Affairs. Here Ferguson abandons the typical causality of historians and opts for a different account, based on complex systems theory. (more…)


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