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Anticipating Critical Reconfigurations in World Societal Fields

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1 Author(s)

Qualitative change in pattern or configuration is starkly contrasted with quantitative change. A number of assumptions are stated regarding biological, psychological, social, economic, political, technological, and ecological forces and factors systemically causal to war or peace. The world system is considered to be a dynamic field of forces. Modern field theory is briefly reviewed. Several theoretical approaches, compatible mutually and compatible with the integrating framework of field theory, are discussed. These are the behavioral/social or sociotechnical, systems dynamics, entropy law, self-organization far from equilibrium, field theory in physics, catastrophe theory, and hyperbolic and logistic growth process approaches. A cusp and a butterfly catastrophe theory interpretation of revolutionary processes serve to illustrate the reconfigurational nature of societal fields under conditions of incipiently prestructured war or peace. Some problems of future concern are identified.

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IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 5 )