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Complex Adaptive Systems and Unconventional Progress for the National Air Quality Management System

PAQ, Vol. 32 No. 3, (2008)

Environmental statutes are among the most complicated national legislation. These laws seek to integrate scientific ambiguity, political competition, management performance and intergovernmental relations. The Clean Air Act has seen considerable changes in the conditions under which it is implemented. As a consequence, new paradigms are needed to advance air quality in the United States. This paper suggests that complex adaptive systems theory can be applied to the Clean Air Act to introduce a new intellectual framework that reconfigures how this act could be more effective in the future.

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