Complexity, Law & Public Policy
This seminar will take a broadly comprehensive view of the law as a complex adaptive system in itself and explore the ways in which complexity theory might enrich our understanding of legal development and the formulation and application of public policy. The seminar will introduce the field of complexity theory, its general principles, and the ways in which it can be applied to regulatory law and public policy.
The material consists of a basic text (MELANIE MITCHELL, COMPLEXITY: A GUIDED TOUR (O.U.P. 2009), selected readings, and group discussion led by Professor Baxter. Individual students will be required to prepare research papers, the results of which will be presented by individual students to the seminar group. In advance of each presentation, the other, non-presenting students will be given a set of basic readings to prepare them to offer constructive comments on the presentation, and their own performance can continue to be evaluated. After presenting, each student will be encouraged to develop his or her ideas further to refine the final paper and prepare it as a possible publication.
The group will meet once a week for two hours and the seminar participation, presentations and papers will be graded. The grade will be allocated as follows: 50% for the paper; 25% for the individual presentation; and 25% for overall seminar participation.
Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.