What Can We Learn from Evolutionary Theory When Confronting the Deep Challenges of Our Times?

Authored by: Luca Bertolini

The Routledge Handbook of Institutions and Planning in Action

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138085732
eBook ISBN: 9781315111230
Adobe ISBN:


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How can societies change in the face of a widely felt perception of the need to change, but also under the irreducible uncertainty about what and how to change? This chapter explores how evolutionary theory might help identify answers to this question. It summarizes contemporary views of the dynamics of biological evolution, adapts these views to the specificities of the social domain, and explores their implications on policymaking. On a more abstract level, this chapter explores how this conceptualization might help connect institutionalist and pragmatist views of planning.

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