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Complexity and the Art of Public PolicySolving Society's Problems from the Bottom Up$
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David Colander and Roland Kupers

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169132

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169132.001.0001

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Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

(p.3) Chapter 1 Twin Peaks
Complexity and the Art of Public Policy

David Colander

Roland Kupers

Princeton University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the book’s main themes. It discusses the notion of a complexity frame, which is a fundamentally different policy frame provided by complexity science. The central policy choice in a complexity frame is not the market or the government. The goal of policy in the complexity frame is not to choose one or the other. Instead, policy is seen as affecting a complex evolving system that cannot be controlled. But while it cannot be controlled, it can be influenced, and policymakers have to continually think how to work with evolutionary pressures, and try to guide those pressures toward desirable ends. Within the complexity frame, top-down control actions are a last resort. Their use suggests that you have failed in your previous attempts to get the ecostructure right.

Keywords:   complexity science, complexity frame, policymaking, policymakers

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