chapter  12
18 Pages

Complexity Theory and Evolutionary Public Administration: A Sceptical Afterword

ByCHRISTOPHER POLLITT

The authors of this book have shown rare academic courage by inviting me-as someone known to have a sceptical attitude to their principal ideasto comment on their achievements. I am conscious of, and grateful for, the privileged role which they have afforded me. Whilst my reading of the forgoing chapters has not dissolved all my doubts (few would have expected that) it has given me a much better appreciation of the enterprise upon which complexity theorists are engaged, and of the relations of that exercise to other scholarly themes and perspectives in the fi eld. Compared with a number of other works on complexity theory which I have read, I believe this book sets out its assumptions, aims and methods with much greater clarity. It also offers extensive empirical applications of the main concepts, which, again, is a welcome enhancement of the highly abstract approach which sometimes predominates elsewhere in the complexity literature.