International Development in a Complex Adaptive System
RONALD J. SCOTT, JR.
PAQ, Vol. 32 No. 3, (2008)
Understanding the international system as an emergent complex adaptive system (cas) and then pursuing an approach based on cooperation theory and a meliorist-centric orientation will improve, perhaps even accelerate, international development (ID). Cooperation theory, properly defined and fully developed, could play a more constructive role in foreign policy, especially as it relates to ID. To justify this argument, the article: 1) describes current international relations theories that guide current ID approaches; 2) frames the ID context; 3) describes cas attributes and how they provide a useful platform for understanding the role of ID in an international system; 4) discusses implications of modeling and simulation for identifying tipping points and levers for ID investment; and 5) closes with conclusions and recommendations for future research.
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