Tag: complexity

Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world

From the New Scientist As protests against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy. The idea that a few bankers control […]

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So the world is complex – what do we do differently?

Spent yesterday discussing the implications of complexity theory for development (previous discussion on this blog here) at a seminar organized by the UKCDS, a body that promotes interdisciplinary research on development. It was totally gripping, not least because two of my gurus were there – Eric Beinhocker, whose brilliant book on evolution and economics, The […]

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How can better models of change sharpen up our work on development?

Regular visitors to this blog will know that I’ve been doing quite a lot of floundering about thinking on different models of change (e.g. what triggered the revolution in Egypt? What does complexity theory add to/subtract from our thinking about development?) Partly it’s because in my ideal world, every time an NGO or research institution […]

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Drivers of Change in Egypt: Mulling over the comments on last week's post

Here’s my reaction to a couple of dozen very helpful comments and links on last week’s posts on this blog and the Guardian site, along with a couple of new articles. There are two main clusters of comments: the most important is probably the one that distinguishes between the drivers of change, and the dynamics […]

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Newton v Complexity: Robert Chambers on competing aid paradigms

This is taken from a longer two part piece by Robert Chambers on the excellent ‘Aid on the Edge of Chaos’ blog. Worth spending some time studying the diagrams. “Today we can see two broad paradigms at work in international development. On the one side are Neo-Newtonian practices – those processes, procedures, roles and behaviour which […]

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Final thought on Complexity Economics

This week, I’ve been mulling over Eric Beinhocker’s book, ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’ (see previous posts – an overview and a discussion of the implications for our models of change). One question that remains is ‘why aren’t there more books like this?’ The initial idea of  ‘Complexity Economics’ […]

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Complexity Economics, Evolution and How Change Happens

Eric Beinhocker’s book, ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’ (for review see previous post) challenges our understanding of how change happens and the role of would-be ‘change agents’ like Oxfam.

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Complexity Economics and Evolution – a Truly Big Idea

I spent much of the Christmas break sneaking off to read chapters of Eric Beinhocker’s path-breaking 2006 book ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’. There’s probably too much to cover in one post, so I’ll follow up this overview with some more specific reflections in the days to come.

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Complexity, Chaos, Catastrophes and Change: Is the New Physics much help to development wonks?

One of the unfinished tasks in From Poverty to Power is developing a better model for analysing processes of change, so I’ve been going back to my prehistoric roots as a physics undergraduate, and reading about complexity and chaos. Exploring the Science of Complexity is a newish (February 08) paper from the Overseas Development Institute […]

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Fixing Failed States

Just finished the book of this title by Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart. It left me with a mixture of excitement and frustration – excitement because it sets out some good ideas on state-building, frustration because it doesn’t quite live up to the title and is sloppily edited, with whole chunks repeated verbatim, wandering narrative […]

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