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Society as a Self-Organized Critical System

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In this article we apply the theorem of self-organized criticality from complexity theory to explain social transformations. We show that modern society meets all criteria of a critical system: close couplings, permanent addition of energy and the ability to slowly disequilibrate. The explanatory power of this approach is outlined by discussing the outbreak of World War I. Finally, we present possible intervention strategies to prevent social systems from collapsing.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: language="EN">

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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