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Complexity theory is a unifying theory of the natural and social sciences that seeks to describe and account for the properties of complex adaptive systems in the material, biological, and social worlds. These systems are characterised by emergent properties that are irreducible to the sum of the systems' parts. These properties are evident at the systemic level but are not implicit within the elements comprising the system or through the addition of those elements or the relations between them.

Complexity theory is important because it represents the cutting edge of interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange. The influential Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences, reporting in 1996 and chaired by world-systems sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein and Nobel prize-winning scientist Ilya Prigogine, recommended the removal ...

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