(P4-01) In what types of situations does CANS-theory apply?

Having an idea about what CANSs are and about what CANS theory aims for, we have to discuss what knowledge of them will be attractive to legal scholarship and the legal profession. Considering that CANS theory aims to improve comprehension of situations that are complex, and that CANS theory supports cross-disciplinary cooperation, we may expect the CANS-theory toolbox to be of value when facing Complex Problems. Many of these (globalization, failing states, overpopulation, urbanization, credit crunches, pandemics, global heating, deepening economic/educational/religious/political divides) not only share the characteristics of CANSs, they also radiate desperate appeals for legal/legitimate help and `solutions,’ almost continuously. The same goes for Complex ICT problems, like: legitimate policing, personal data protection, social media, effective command and control (for users and service providers) of social media, internet services, the cloud, and the procurement and production of effective ICT services of scale. As these problems all (Complex Problems and Complex ICT Problems alike) show (1) the characteristics of CANSs, (2) prove very difficult to manage/solve as they are either (3) resilient to pressures or (4) in the process of critical transformation, CANS theories are expected to apply. Moreover, the imaginable solutions to these Complex Problems all transcend the scope of a single specialist’s knowledge. Consequently, their consideration needs the cooperation of a diversity of disciplines. Thus, CANS theories are on topic also from this perspective.

One example of interest to legal scholarship and legal practice alike is in our analysis of the Complex Fukushima Situation (to be discussed elsewhere in this blog).

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2 thoughts on “(P4-01) In what types of situations does CANS-theory apply?

  1. I still feel there is something missing in between. As far as I understood in your lines, on the one end of the leverage is the problems either hiding or appearing in the processing of legal governance, while on the other end is the CANS. However, how to link them together? Or why it is complex theory? Why not other theories?

    • I have not been clear then. I do not think it is either-or, but and-and. We need complexity theory, to complement what useful theories from (to mention a few), legal, cultural, economic and science disciplines offer on complex problems. How to link them together (or: how to cooperate in multidisciplinary teams in practice) will be discussed as an important issue. (With Stephan Corvers I wrote a book on multidisciplinary design in 2007, I think a lot can be used in the blog). Does this help?