What science can do for democracy – A complexity science approach

T Eliassi-rad, H Farrell, DA Garcia, Stephan Lewandowsky, Patricia Palacios, Don A Ross, Didier Sornette, Karim P Y Thebault, Karoline Wiesner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


Political scientists have conventionally assumed that achieving democracy is a one-way ratchet. Only very recently has the question of ‘democratic backsliding’ attracted any research attention. We argue that democratic instability is best understood with tools from complexity science. The explanatory power of complexity science arises from several features of complex systems. Their relevance in the context of democracy is discussed. Several policy recommen- dations are offered to help (re)stabilize current systems of representative democracy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHumanities & Social Sciences Communications
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2020

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Science and Philosophy
  • Memory
  • TeDCog


  • complex systems
  • democracy
  • economics
  • social system modelling
  • sociophysics
  • stability
  • statistical mechanics


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