(P8-00) The Road Ahead

Our project is work in progress by definition. As long as homo sapiens survives as a species, there is no end state imaginable where our comprehension of socal institutions and their regulation will be in stasis and complete. So we will write blogs/paragraphs on how we appreciate what we are doing and have been doing, […] Continue reading → ...

(P7-00) The Results Category

In Partition P7 we collect paragraphs that consider conclusions that emerge from looking at what has been collected in the other partitions. Most of these will have the form of falsifiable propositions. Especially important for this collection of paragraphs are heuristics that will support CANS theory reception by mainstream law professionals (Partition 7). Continue reading → ...

(P5-00) The Law’s Emergence Category

We reserve a separate partition for blogs and paragraphs that address the legal system, its institutions, its professions and its professionals as CANSs themselves. With what will be collected here we hope to further find out how complex adaptive systems (legal systems included) can be modeled to emerge as complex contingencies that survive in niches, […] Continue reading → ...

(P0-00) The Preliminaries Category

In this Category we discuss mainstream scholarly attitudes towards law, legal theory and complexity and their interactions. Concepts and terms are introduced. Also, hunches about usefulness for understanding many serious and persistent social problems, badly in need of scholarly legal attention that is aware of complexity theory are collected here. Continue reading → ...

(P3-00) The Structure & Dynamics Category

Category P3 collects paragraphs focusing on interactions and relations between structures and dynamics. Thoughts on how the analysis in structure and dynamics of complex situations have de facto helped understand and manage social systems facing actual critical transitions find a place in this category. Also examples of how institutional ecologies may have co-evolved in between […] Continue reading → ...

(P2-00) The Dynamics Category

In the Category P2 we collect paragraphs on the dynamics of systems and system aggregates. Often these dynamics are described in cyclic models of processes, like in metabolics (e.g., the Krebs cycle), in evolution (Darwin’s reproduction-variation-selection), in teleologic behaviors (Wright), in intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Deci). One issue to be discussed (Dennett, Gazzaniga) concerns the […] Continue reading → ...

A sub-section

In this sub-section of the results Partition, we report three lessons for law-making gained from CAS theory. The three lessons are based on researches by JB Ruhl, Tussey and us. This sub-section relates evidence on the values of CAS theory in innovating the science of law. The exploration on these evidence may help us to […] Continue reading → ...

(P0-09) Important CANS Characteristics

Before addressing the What is a CANS? question we first give an overview of important characteristics often mentioned as building blocks for the CANS concept: diverse agents with behavioral parameters; dynamics; emergence; replication; metabolism; survival; selection; recursion, or scale free phenomena; bottom-up and top-down causation; network structures, multi-level feedback loops; self-organization; critical transitions. These characteristics […] Continue reading → ...

(P1-03) Complexity and Mainstream Legal Theory

The focus in complexity is different from the focus in classical, mainstream legal theories. Legal postivism evaluates situations and behaviors (actions, strategies, expectations) against previously promulgated laws. And legal realism describes what legal institutions do and extrapolates what the future behaviors of legal institutions will be, based on observing passed performance. Both the positivist and […] Continue reading → ...

(P0-08) Complexity Considers Co-evolution

Law as a whole (both written and unwritten law) is a vast and complicated set of arrangements and actions wherein agents (like businessmen, individuals, companies, lawyers, judges, policemen, government agencies) act: e.g., obey or infringe, enforce, litigate, adjudicate, defend, compete, learn, adapt. All such behaviors form concurrently the legal system, with its sub systems like […] Continue reading → ...

(P0-07) CANSs are Bewildering

Based on our experiences, the application of CANS theory in legal academia tends to meet with showers of questions: What does this different way of thinking about law offer? How exactly does it work and where does it fit in? Will it replace classical legal theory or is it complimentary? And under what logic, does […] Continue reading → ...

(P0-06) CANS theory is eccentric

Our claim is (contrary to what Webb (2014) recently argued in Ratio Juris) that in mainstream legal scholarship the application of CANS theory can hardly be observed at all. Some substantial work is and has been done (e.g., Ruhl (1997), Ruhl (1999), Tussey (2005), Ruhl (2010), Zhang (2014), Ruhl and Katz (2015) and Zhang and […] Continue reading → ...

(P0-05) Regulating Complex Structures is Difficult

Regulation of CANS behavior is difficult, and often the object of cross-disciplinary concern (Clark (1999), Snowden and Boone (2007), Haldane (2009)). Zhang (2014) had, for instance, to conclude that the regulatory problems concerning the legal protection of personal data (of “informational privacy”) result from the networked structures, internal and external to the levels where the […] Continue reading → ...

(P0-04) CANSs and our Working Hypotheses

All individuals and corporations that use and produce personal data are nodes in communication networks. These tend to form communities in practice. Zhang (2014) established that such community networks have the characteristics of complex adaptive systems (hereinafter CANSs for Complex Adaptive Networked Systems). Laws that address the behavior of individuals in such communities cannot but […] Continue reading → ...

(P1-01) Adopting Coase’s Attitude to Method (CAM)

[The current snippet belongs in Part 1 which does “… first discuss mainstream scholarly attitudes towards law, legal theory and complexity combined …”] Most legal people that we meet have a deep-rooted aversion against mathematical stories. And most legal people that we meet expect that complexity stories are mathematical. So they tend to turn their […] Continue reading → ...

(P0-01) Contents

Suggested contents: 1 Law and the Structure of Complexity 2 Law and the Dynamics of Complexity 3 Law for Structure and Dynamics in Ecologies 4 Complexity Theory for Legal Professionals 5 How Legal Arrangements Emerge 6 A Live Example 7 Results 8 The Tao of Law’s Complexity I suggest that we (Kunbei and Aernout) add […] Continue reading → ...

(P0-03) What is complexity law?

Complexity law builds from the proposition that law cannot be fully represented in simple causal models: legal agents constantly change their actions and strategies in response to the outcome they mutually create. This further changes the outcome, which requires them to adjust afresh. Agents thus live in a legal world where their beliefs and strategies […] Continue reading → ...