Complex Society: In the Middle of a Middle World
by Bojan Radej (Slovenian Evaluation Society, Slovenia)
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This book is addressing concerns of the excluded majority by explaining how present complex social conditions work in favour of generational aspirations to achieve a more positive future. As an experiences policy maker I see a real value in the author’s advise how to free enormous potential for cooperative undertakings among members of society at a middle-ground between different manifestations of the good instead of against the bad.
Dr. Janez Potočnik
Club of Rome, member; Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel (UNEP);
former EU Commissioner for science (2004-10) and for environment (2010-14)
The decreasing capacity to govern complex social processes results in negative trends that breach system thresholds in all main social domains with extreme economic stratification of society. Independent studies steadily report that a strong majority of the world’s population, between 60% and 80%, already feels excluded and no longer represented by their governments.
The two prevailing concepts of complexity seem to overlook the central importance of mesoscopic complexity. Socially complex conditions call for a new kind of social thought specifically developed for a blinded generation that must be as different from modern and postmodern thoughts, as they were different from their middle-age precedents.
'Complex Society: In the Middle of a Middle World', addresses the concerns of the excluded majority by explaining how present complex social conditions work in favor of generational aspirations to achieve a more positive future. In the geometry of thinking, a complex matter is not comprehensible objectively, but only by evaluating overlaps between complexity domains on their periphery, which is in the area of their inconsistencies. The book first develops an evaluative methodology for studying complex social matters and then tests it with three case studies that reflect some of the most pressing problems in contemporary societies: aggregation problem, integration problem, and organization problem. The obtained findings give grounds for the depiction of an outline for the ‘anti-postmodern’ ordering of contemporary societies.
This ground-breaking text will be of particular interest for graduate and post-graduate level of social sciences, evaluators of project, program and policy impact evaluation, evaluators of philosophy of science, as well as methodologists of social research and public governance.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Chapter I Social complexity
1. Complexity is dangerous
2. Between simplicity and chaos
3. Between two evolutions
4. Social complexity in the middle
Chapter II Aggregation problem
1. Aggregation problem
2. Core concepts
3. Results: micro vs macro
4. Meso level results
4.1. Horizontal extension
5. Evaluative synthesis in the middle
Chapter III Integration problem
1. Integration problem
2. Core concepts
3. Case study
5. Integration in the middle
Chapter IV Organisation problem
1. System and antisystem
2. Organisation problem
3. Complementary inconsistencies
3.1. Programme-action matrix
3.2. Antisystem structure
4. Oscillation in the middle
Chapter V Complex society
1. Simple in a complex way
2. Governed from the middle
2.1. Between groups
2.2. Between capitals
3. Sail the void
Bojan Radej is a macroeconomist, independent evaluator, methodologist, educator—trainer, entrepreneur, publicist, and volunteer. He is the initiator and co-founder of the Slovenian Evaluation Society (2008), and acted as Chairman between 2008-2016.
Mojca Golobič is full professor and head of the Department of Landscape Architecture in the Biotechnical Faculty (University of Ljubljana), where she leads the research program Landscape as Living Environment. She has also acted as Chairlady of the Slovenian Evaluation Society (2016-2020).
Social complexity; Evaluative thinking; Mesoscopic 'irrational rationality'; Anti-postmodern society