This page is intended to (eventually) provide a comprehensive bibliography which is useful to both experienced colleagues and those new to systems theory. The publications are split into categories based on the systems theory they are discussing.
To have information posted to this page please email Tom Webb at email@example.com giving the relevant information for the publication and under which section to file it. If you think the book is a useful introductory text please also note this.
Click the links to go straight to each section.
General Systems Theory
This page will also grow as I find time to list the texts.
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- M. King Systems, Not People, Make Society Happen (Holcombe Publishing, 2009)
- J. Mingers Self Producing Systems: Implications and Applications of Autopoiesis (London, Plenum Press, Contemporary Systems Thinking Series, 1995)
Appearance in Law
- The 1992 vol 13. Special Issue of the Cardozo Law Review
- C. Joerges, I-J. Sand, G. Teubner, Transnational Governance and Constitutionalism (Oxford: Hart, 2004)
- M. King, 'The "Truth" About Autopoiesis' (1993) 20(2) Journal of Law and Society 218
- M. King and A. Schütz, 'The Ambitious Modesty of Niklas Luhmann' (1994) 21(3) Journal of Law and Society 261
- M. King and C. Thornhill (eds), Luhmann on Law and Politics: Critical Appraisals and Applications (Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2006)
- N. Luhmann, 'Limits of Steering' (1997) 14 Theory, Culture, Society 41
- N. Luhmann, Law as a Social System (Oxford: OUP, 2008)
- D. Nelken, (ed.) Law as Communication (Aldershot: Dartmouth Publishing, 1996)
- J. Paterson, An Introduction to Luhmann (1997) 14 Theory, Culture and Society 37
- A. Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Niklas Luhmann: Law, Justice and Society (Nomikoi Critical Legal Thinkers Series) (Routledge, 2009)
- G. Teubner (ed), Autopoietic Law: A New Approach to Law and Society (New York and Berlin: Walter de Gruyter Publishing, 1988)
- G. Teubner and A. Febbrajo (eds), State, Law and Economy as Autopoietic Systems: Regulation and Autonomy in a New Perspective (Milan: Giuffré, 1992)
- G. Teubner, Law as an Autopoietic System (Oxford, UK & Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell, 1993)
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Lewin and Waldrop's texts are both excellent introductions to the origins, trail blazers, and basic ideas of complexity. A good place to start.
- R. Lewin, Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos (Oxford: Macmillan Maxwell International, 1992)
- M. M. Waldrop, Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos (London: Penguin Books, 1994, 2nd ed)
Natural Sciences Texts
Complexity theory emerged in the natural sciences. The following texts are a collection of popular science texts often cited within both the natural and social sciences as key to an understanding of the origins of complexity theory.
- J. Cohen and I. Stewart, The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (London: Penguin, 1995)
- P. Coveney and R. Highfield, Frontiers of Complexity: The Search for Order in a Chaotic World (London: Faber and Faber, 1996)
- M. Gell-Mann, The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex (London: Abacus, 1995)
- J. Gleick, Chaos: The Amazing Science of the Unpredictable (London: Vintage Books, 1998)M. Mitchell, Complexity: A Guided Tour (Oxford: OUP, 2009)
- J.H. Holland, Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity (Reading, MA: Helix Books, 1995)
- G. Nicolis and I. Prigogine, Exploring Complexity: An Introduction (New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1989)
- I. Prigogine and I. Stengers, Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with Nature (London: Flamingo Fontana Paperbacks, 1985)
- I. Prigogine, The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos, and the New Laws of Nature
Social Sciences Texts: Many Approaches
Here I have listed a number of books which I found useful when mapping out in my head the various limbs of complexity theory, and the debate within and without these, in the social sciences.
- J. Bogg and R. Geyer (eds.), Complexity, Science and Society (Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing, 2007)
- D. Byrne, Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences, An Introduction (London: Routledge, 1998)
- P. Cilliers, Complexity and Postmodernism: Understanding Complex Systems (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 1998)
- R.A. Eve, S. Horsfall, and M.E. Lee, (eds.) Chaos, Complexity, and Sociology: Myths, Models and Theories (London: SAGE Publications, 1997)
- R. Geyer, and S Rihani, Complexity and Public Policy: A New Approach to Twenty-First Century Politics, Policy and Society (London & New York: Routledge, 2010)
- N.E. Harrison, Complexity in World Politics: Concepts and Methods of New Paradigm (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2006)
- E. Mitleton-Kelly (ed), Complex Systems and Evolutionary Perspectives on Organisations: The Application of Complexity Theory to Organisations (London: Pergamon Press, 2003)
- N. Rescher, Complexity: A Philosophical Overview (New Brunswick, US: Transaction Publishers, 1998)
- R.K. Sawyer, Social Emergence: Societies as Complex Systems (Cambridge: CUP 2005)
- M.C. Taylor, (ed.) The Moment of Complexity: Emerging Network Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001)
- J. Urry, Global Complexity (Cambridge: Polity, 2003)
Also of great use are the following journals
- The aptly named Complexity available from their website (ISSN 1099-0526)
- E:CO - Emergence: Complexity and Organization (formerly: Emergence) available from their website. The site also contains a selection of books on complexity theory published by the same publishing house (ISSN 1521-3250, eISSN 1532-7000)
- Futures, particularly volume 37 (2005) (ISSN 0016-3287)
Appearance in Law
Complexity theory is only just beginning to be considered by lawyers, below I have listed the relevant publications which I have come across. Researchers are advised to follow the links to the scholars' institutional websites for further publications.
- J. Murray, 'Nome Law: Deleuze and Guattari on the Emergence of Law' (2006) 19 International Journal for the Semiotics of Law 127-151
- J. Murray, 'Complexity Theory and Socio-Legal Studies, Code: Liverpool Law' (2008) 29 Liverpool Law Review 227-246
- J. Murray, Deleuze and Guattari: Emergent Law (London: Routledge, 2010)
- Jamie Murray's institutional website
- J.B. Ruhl, 'Law's Complexity: A Primer' (2008) 24(4) Georgia State University Law Review 885-911
- J.B. Ruhl's institutional website
- J. Webb, 'Law, Ethics, and Complexity: Complexity Theory and the Normative Reconstruction of Law (2005) 52 Cleveland State Law Review 227-242
- Julian Webb's institutional website
- Also see the 'Complexity Symposium' special issue 24(4) of Georgia State University Law Review (2008) (ISSN 8755-6847)
General Systems Theory/Soft-Systems Methodologies
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You will note the sparse amount of reading available in this section. I would welcome any suggestions for additions here.
- P. Checkland, Systems Thinking, Systems Practices (Including a 30 Year Retrospective (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 1999)
- S.E. Phelan, 'A Note on the Correspondence Between Complexity and Systems Theory' (1999) 12(3) Systemic Practice and Action Research 237-246
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Again, reading in this section is fairly limited. I would welcome any suggestions for additions here.
- J. Gleick, Chaos: The Amazing Science of the Unpredictable (London: Vantage, 1998)
- E.N. Lorenz, The Essence of Chaos (Seatle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1993).
Appearance in Law
- A. W. Hayes, 'An Introduction to Chaos and Law' (1992) 60 University of Missouri Kansas City Law Review 751-774
Other sections can be created as publications are submitted.