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New Global Studies

Ed. by Chanda, Nayan / Iriye, Akira / Mazlish, Bruce / Sassen, Saskia

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What If the Model Does Not Tell the Whole Story? The Clock, the Natural Forest and the New Global Studies

David Jacobson1 / Ning Wang2

1Arizona State University

2Arizona State University

Citation Information: New Global Studies. Volume 2, Issue 3, ISSN (Online) 1940-0004, DOI: 10.2202/1940-0004.1035, October 2008

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Machiavelli made his celebrated distinction between `the effective truth of things' and the `imaginary republics and monarchies that have never been seen or known to exist.' The scholarly study of international relations has generally sought to make research more manageable by cutting complex social realities into manageable structures and patterns—risking a world of imaginary republics. This approach has been imparted to policy, with limited success and sometimes disastrous results. The New Global Studies offers an opportunity to re-think our approach on global matters. Drawing on different sources, primarily the work of the Nobel economist Ronald Coase, evolutionary biology, and concepts of non-ergodicity, we suggest an alternative, `organic' approach that seeks to engage and learn from complexity rather than simplify it.

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