The fundamental challenge for the policy sciences lies with its very subject matter. The complexities of the interactions of humans in groups and the interactions of individuals with their social environment produce uncertainties and surprises that defy the best efforts to develop consistent, transportable and enduring means for either altering or maintaining these group and individual dynamics. The evolution of the larger enterprise of the social sciences has, of course, enhanced understanding of these often daunting dynamics. Thus, improvement in the means for understanding social phenomena thus should serve to move the policy sciences toward more reasoned and grounded efforts to analyze and construct public policy.
During the last decade a new means for understanding the dynamics of complex social phenomena has emerged. These emergent fields of study, also labeled the "new sciences", have potential value to the policy sciences since these new sciences focus on the behavior and dynamics of complex systems.
This volume has been designed to introduce those with an interest in the policy sciences to the field of nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, and their application to a wide range of policy-related issues.
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