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Clumsy Solutions for a Wicked World. Marco Verweij Jacobs University.

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Clumsy Solutions for a Wicked World

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Clumsy Solutions for a Wicked World

Marco Verweij

Jacobs University

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The simplicity of nature is not to be measured by that of our conceptions. Infinitely varied in its effects, nature is simple only in its causes, and its economy consists in producing a great number of phenomena, often very complicated, by means of a small number of general laws.

Pierre-Simon LaPlace, 1813

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“The object is not to come up with something original but gently to push what is known into an explicit typology that captures the wisdom of a hundred years of sociology, anthropology and psychology. Then we can hope to ask new questions.”

Mary Douglas, 1982.

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Nature Capricious

Nature Peverse/Tolerant

Unfettered competition

Fettered competition



Nature Benign

Nature Ephemeral


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The Theory of Socio-Cultural Viability

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The Deaf

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Table of Contents

Marco Verweij, Mary Douglas, Richard Ellis, Christoph Engel, Frank Hendriks, Susanne Lohmann, Steven Ney, Steve Rayner and Michael Thompson, The Case for Clumsiness

Elegant Failures

Marco Verweij,Is the Kyoto Protocol Merely Irrelevant, or Positively Harmful, for the Efforts to Curb Climate Change?

Dipak Gyawali, Hype and Hydro (and, at Last, Some Hope) in the Himalaya

Mark Bovens and Margot Trappenburg, Segregation through Anti-Discrimination: How the Netherlands Got Divided Again

Michael D. Intriligator, Janine Wedel and Catherine H. Lee, What Russia Can Learn from China in Its Transition to a Market Economy

John Adams, The Failure of Seat Belts Legislation

Clumsy Solutions

Dan M. Kahan, Donald Braman and John Gastil, Gunfight at the Consequentialist Corral: The Deadlock in the United States over Firearms Control, and How to Break It

Joanne Linnerooth-Bayer, Anna Vári and Michael Thompson, Floods and Fairness in Hungary

Tommy Tranvik and Michael Thompson, Inclusive by Design: The Curious Case of the Internet

Denise Lach, Helen Ingram and Steve Rayner, You Never Miss the Water till the Well Runs Dry: Crisis and Creativity in California

Marco Verweij, Michael Thompson and Christoph Engel, Clumsy Conclusions: How to Do Policy and Research in a Complex World

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Clumsy Solutions for a Complex World: How to Improve Global GovernanceMarco Verweij

Chapter 1: How to Curb Global Warming When It May or May Not Be Occurring

Chapter 2: Clumsy Solutions for a Wicked World

Chapter 3: Health for Very Few: The Resurgence of Malaria

Chapter 4: Biased into Baghdad: The Failure of the Iraq War

Chapter 5: They May Be Génocidaires But At Least They Are Our Génocidaires: The Role of France in Rwanda

Chapter 6: Making Global Governance Clumsier (after an Excursion to the Rhine)

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Space for Clumsiness

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