© 2017

Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy

Introduction and Essays on New and Changing Paradigms in Socio-Economic Thinking

  • Jeffrey Johnson
  • Andrzej Nowak
  • Paul Ormerod
  • Bridget Rosewell
  • Yi-Cheng Zhang
  • Edited and authored by leading experts in the field

  • Introductory style aiming at a very broad readership

  • Provides an interdisciplinary perspective

Open Access

Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Jeffrey Johnson, Paul Ormerod, Bridget Rosewell, Andrzej Nowak, Yi-Cheng Zhang
    Pages 1-17 Open Access
  3. Paul Ormerod
    Pages 19-44 Open Access
  4. Andrzej Nowak, Marta Kacprzyk-Murawska, Ewa Serwotka
    Pages 45-58 Open Access
  5. David Anzola, Peter Barbrook-Johnson, Mauricio Salgado, Nigel Gilbert
    Pages 59-69 Open Access
  6. Denise Pumain
    Pages 71-80 Open Access
  7. Michael Batty
    Pages 81-96 Open Access
  8. Hilton L. Root
    Pages 97-109 Open Access
  9. Jeffrey Johnson, Joyce Fortune, Jane Bromley
    Pages 111-134 Open Access
  10. Yi-Cheng Zhang
    Pages 149-158 Open Access
  11. Bridget Rosewell
    Pages 159-178 Open Access
  12. Greg Fisher
    Pages 179-194 Open Access
  13. Ralph Dum, Jeffrey Johnson
    Pages 209-225 Open Access
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 227-232

About this book


The overall aim of this book, an outcome of the European FP7 FET Open NESS project, is to contribute to the ongoing effort to put the quantitative social sciences on a proper footing for the 21st century. A key focus is economics, and its implications on policy making, where the still dominant traditional approach increasingly struggles to capture the economic realities we observe in the world today - with vested interests getting too often in the way of real advances.

Insights into behavioral economics and modern computing techniques have made possible both the integration of larger information sets and the exploration of disequilibrium behavior. The domain-based chapters of this work illustrate how economic theory is the only branch of social sciences which still holds to its old paradigm of an equilibrium science - an assumption that has already been relaxed in all related fields of research in the light of recent advances in complex and dynamical systems theory and related data mining.

The other chapters give various takes on policy and decision making in this context. Written in nontechnical style throughout, with a mix of tutorial and essay-like contributions, this book will benefit all researchers, scientists, professionals and practitioners interested in learning about the 'thinking in complexity' to understand how socio-economic systems really work.


Behavioral economics Complex socio-economic systems Econophysics and Social Dynamics Information economy and policy informatics Paradigm shift in economic thinking Social dynamics in policy Quantitative social sciences data-driven science, modeling and theory building complexity

Editors and affiliations

  • Jeffrey Johnson
    • 1
  • Andrzej Nowak
    • 2
  • Paul Ormerod
    • 3
  • Bridget Rosewell
    • 4
  • Yi-Cheng Zhang
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and MathematicsThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland
  3. 3.LondonUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Volterrra PartnersLondonUnited Kingdom
  5. 5.Department of PhysicsUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland

Bibliographic information


“This book is one of the major outcomes of a European FET open project on Non-Equilibrium Social Science (NESS). … Reading a review about a book should also answer the most important question: ‘should I read this book?’. I would answer this question firmly affirmative. ... contain interesting new insights for most people as you get glimpses from perspectives of all disciplines. … I will recommend some of my colleagues and PhD students to also read it!” (Frank Dignum, JASSS,, Vol. 21 (1), 2018)