Complexity and Collective Action

Why and how do we humans act collectively? Why do we set up formal institutions like regulatory bodies? Are informal institutions (e.g. morals) important in a globalized economy? In this seminar Greg will focus on the question: can the complexity sciences help us better understand collective action and institutions? The answer he gives is an emphatic yes. Various features of complex social systems will be considered and discussed in the context of collective action. They will also be considered in light of Elinor Ostrom's definition of collective action problems and Douglass C North's definition of institutions. To date, collective action has mostly been thought about in a reductionist way: a complex systems perspective, including social simulation, could add substantial value to this field.

Friday, 3 October, 2014 - 12:30 to 14:00
Greg Fisher
Presenter(s) biography: 

Greg Fisher is a mature PhD student at Southampton’s Institute for Complex Systems Simulation and also the Managing Director of Synthesis, a think-tank oriented around the Complexity Sciences.