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Complexity theory – a variant of systems theory – understands law as an emergent, complex, self-organizing system in which an interactive network of actors and systems operate with no overall guiding hand, giving rise to complex collective behaviour that can be observed in patterns of law communications and actions. This collection explores the different ways in which the insights from complexity theory can be applied to law.
Addressing such issues as the unpredictabilityof legal systems, the ability of legal systems to adaptto changes in society, the importance of context, and thenature of the boundaries of law, it engages a wide range of legal areas, including: public policy and administrative law, international law and human rights, regulatory practices in business and finance, and the practice of law and legal ethics.
These are all areas where law, which craves certainty and conclusiveness, encounters uncertainty and unending complexity. And offering, through a thorough exploration of complexity theory, a qualitatively different account of law and society, this collection illuminates the many ways in which complexity theory thinking can reshape and clarify our understanding of the various problems relating to the theory and practice of law.