"What makes political systems cross over the threshold into parameter transformations? Some breakpoints occur when a technological development enables individuals to engage in previously unimagined activities and collectivities to pursue previously inconceivable policy goals… a turning point that occurs when the resources or practices of a system can no longer cope with one more increment of change and its parameters give way under the cumulative load."
In times of great transformation, civilization finds itself in T.S. Eliot's Wasteland. Old rules become increasingly useless and do not result in the same successful outcomes as they did in the past, but a new Kuhnian paradigm has yet to emerge from the chaos of turbulent times. The discovery of a new path lies in the process of recognizing and illuminating patterns in the vectors that are operating in the transforming civilization.
The primary hypothesis that I will endeavor to support is that leveraging the benefits of network organization constitutes a new source of power and a new way of accomplishing global governance. As individuals and groups engage each other globally, the locus of global governance shifts from state-centered activities to distributed networks. The cumulative effect of the shift from hierarchies to networks is a system of overlapping spheres of authority and regimes of collective action called "panarchy."
Complexity + Networks + Connectivity => Panarchy
- James N. Rosenau, Turbulence in World Politics : A Theory of Change and Continuity (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990), p. 83.
- T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land ([Monterrey,: Ediciones Sierra Madre, 1960).
- Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd ed. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1996).
- It must be noted that many of the following concepts were first articulated and brilliantly handled in Rosenau, Turbulence in World Politics : A Theory of Change and Continuity.
- An earlier draft of this paper appeared as Paul B. Hartzog, "21st Century Governance as a Complex Adaptive System," in Proceedings Pista 2004, ed. Jose V. Carrasquero, et al., Informatics and Society (Orlando: International Institute of Informatics and Systemics, 2004).