In contrast to the economic systems literature of the "cold war" period, contemporary authors cannot regard the existence and consistency of economic systems as self-evident. The difficulties that ex-communist economies of the East European and CIS countries had to face revealed the necessity of a reorientation in the understanding of the systems' formation and transformation. This paper argues firstly the advantage of an evolutionary perspective of the systems' transformation. The evolutionary perspective provides researchers with a dynamic and non-deterministic view that contains interdependent relationship between behaviors of micro agents and macro conditions. Further, this paper proposes to integrate the concept of "governance" into the evolutionary perspective. The development of information (knowledge) that deals with overall degree of "governance" and its mechanism signify the peculiarity of the evolution in the human or social level. In the last part, this paper classifies several types of the "governance" in the public domain and suggests the task of the "governance" of the evolutionary path of the changing economies.
In this paper we focus on agent based modeling and its methodology in socialsciences. Agent based modeling (ABM) is a bottom up approach for systems with autonomous decision makers which are called agents. ABM is now becoming very popular with agent based simulation techniques. In this research direction we have to reconstruct the relation between bottom up approach in ABM and functional approach in traditional systems theories. We also have to develop methodology for constructing valid models in this area.
In the science-technology-society interface, there are quite a number of complex projects in which the dichotomous definition of success or failure is extremely difficult due to uncertainty involved. The systematic investigation of a vast area in the science-technology-society interface made up of such complex projects provides an important and strategic research site for system theory of any kind that pays attention to the totality of a system. This paper investigates this question from a sociological point of view with particular reference to the trajectory of new energy technology development. Based on the scrutinizing of a borderline case (e.g. the ocean thermal energy conversion project) in terms of success or failure, the paper sheds light upon the importance of technology selection process in determining technology trajectory. The stress on technology selection is quite contrastive to a conspicuous attention given to a technology diffusion process in previous studies on path -dependency. By focusing on technology selection process of the ongoing development of wind turbines, the paper argues that the use of detail local knowledge of the inhabitants around the location of wind turbines is decisive in making technology selection. And the paper further argues that the concept of citizens' participation can be redesigned to be employed as one of the proper devices to contribute to such utilization of local knowledge in technology selection process. The theoretical implication of this concept of participatory technology selection is that participatory technology selection makes it possible to reduce uncertainty involved in complex projects in advance and makes it easier to deliberately decide technology trajectory by means of local knowledge. This proposed concept certainly cannot immediately give a unique solution to the energy problem at a national level. However, the concept is important as a new model for the social shaping of new energy technologies which in the future will become one of the focuses in the collective decision-making in determining a national energy portfolio.
This paper describes the state of the art of agent-based approach to simulate social and economic complex systems. The approach is characterized by software agents with individual internal models, their interactions in a given environment, and the micro-and macro links among the individual behaviors and social phenomena. Using agent-based simulation, thus, we are able to analyze complex phenomena in the real world, which is difficult to understand via the other approaches. This paper examines the literature, compares the model with traditional ones, explains some of our recent results, and explores the future perspectives.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss from various angles soft systems approach, a set of methodologies and frameworks proposed for structuring problematic decision situations involving uncertainty and complexity. Firstly, we introduce the basic idea of the soft systems approach, comparing them with hard systems approach. Next, we focus on the soft systems methodology, or SSM, advocated by Peter Checkland. Since it is one of typical and the most established soft systems approach, its detailed explanation should be helpful to capture the nature of soft systems approach themself. By debate and discussion, SSM tries to support the participants in the problematic situation to mutually understand each other in spite of their diversified viewpoints and to make accommodation on what their relevant problem is. Finally, we argue a framework of meta-methodology in which various systems approach are positioned according to their characteristics. Based on meta-methodology, by picking up peaces from different methodologies for each phase of problem tackling and then combining them, we can work out a tailor-made methodology particularly suitable for the situation.
The purpose of this paper is to show possibility of a study program of evolutionist institutional design as well as to explain in what sense it is different from constructivist planned economy or operationalist Keynesian policies. Firstly, we define operationalism and constructivism as the targets of our critique and overview the problems with them. In particular we focus on the relation between a real economic world and models of it and the relation between economic agents and institutions or rules. Secondly, we will explain our proposed standpoint of evolutionism. Lastly, I take local currency as an example in order to describe evolutionary design of institution more concretely. Evolutionist institutional design pays attention to variable emergent properties of platform-type institutions. It is a social experiment or a social movement with multiple value standards and the viewpoint of inner observation.
Empirical inquiry of social stratification in East Asia (namely Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China) has only a quarter-of-century's history. Many sociologists who got degree in the US or European countries started their empirical study of social stratification to find that each country has her "unique" stratification system in East Asia. Results of East Asian Middle Class Project in 1992 tell us that Korean middle class shows pro-labor attitudes while Taiwanese counterpart is more politically conservative. Hong Kong middle class prefers "exit" strategy while Chinese middle class shows strong conformity to CCP's regime. Interestingly, subjective understanding does not necessarily coincide with the reality of stratification system. According to our comparative research on social justice in Japan and China, Chinese tend to estimate that academic career doesn't create serious social injustice, which is not true to the reality. On the contrary, Chinese seem to be more tolerant to meritocracy than the Japanese who are sensitive to the negative aspects of meritocracy. Comparative study thus sometimes tells us the importance of "semantics" of system cognition.
The third sector (or NPO sector, voluntary sector) has been developing for these two or three decades, and had a social/political influence on our society. It has developed and showed an alternative way of reconstructing the socio-economic system, beyond the failure of Market and Government. It is difficult for only one sector to overcome the following problems, poverty, global environment degradation, social and racial injustice, and so on. This paper analyses the background of the raise of NPO/NGO, and gives a definition of it, and introduces a new style of organization=social enterprise. A mission of social enterprise is to overcome the community's social problems, by using a business scheme. The social enterprise has three main features: 1) social mission, 2) business oriented (involved in producing social goods and services to a market), 3) social innovation. The types of social enterprise are stock corporation, NPO, co-operatives, community business etc. It shows new and various possibilities to re-develop our community.
As Anthony Giddens told: "The crisis of democracy comes from its not being democratic enough." The central problem exists in that the traditional representative systems in political systems are faced with some severe dead locks today. The traditional representative system was institutionalized in the early modern days when most of the masses could hardly read or write. So, the masses elect the "elite" and leave the elite in full charge of all decisions. But, this system is not fitted for making right decisions in the present time when all of the masses have enough intellectual ability to participate in making political decisions. We call this incongruent situation "the representation failure". We do not deny representative democracy, but demand the activation of representative democracy by reflecting constantly citizens' opinion through various methods and raising wide participation of citizens into the deliberation and decision processes in various institutions from the Diet to local governments. The necessary policies are (1) throughgoing decentralization, (2) various utilization of national referendums, inhabitants' polls and other polls, (3) wide participation of citizens into various governmental institutions, and so on.
This paper examines a problematique of risk management on organization systems referring to Niklas Luhmann's risk theory. Luhmann focuses on 'second-order' observations of how risks are explained rather than first-order observations of risk existence. And he propounds the distinction of risk/danger. We apply these ideas to organization systems, in which risks are observed very easily. Recently, to elude risks of organizational decisions, organization systems are building risk management systems into organizational "structure", which distinguishes organizational decisions with others. Most risk management systems correspond only to first-order observations of risk/security. Therefore, whenever unexpected damages happen, risks of risk management systems are observed and its reconstruction is claimed. Furthermore, reinforcements of risk management systems may be more promoted, since introductions of risk management systems have effects on escalation of observation of risks. However, reinforcements of risk management systems themselves can be a risk, because it is observed to be accompanied by dysfunctions of decision making delay, inflexible action, and avoidance of innovation. To avoid such a situation, It is necessary to design second-order risk management which intend to influence distinction of risk/danger. As a clue of such second-order risk management, we can refer to discussions about corporate governance. In recent reformation of corporate governance, we can find a function of management on shareholders' observations of risk/danger by employing embedded institutions, which all organization systems do not always have.
There are usual criticisms toward the term "risk communication". But we will use this term in neutral sense, because we have to communicate on risks. In this paper we take the example of the relation between endocrine disruptors problem and the PRTR Law and reconsider about risk communication. This problem includes many chemicals. So senders of risk communication cannot respond all of request for information of receivers of risk communication. But In this kind of problem, risks cannot help amplifying through mass media. We think that citizens (receivers of risk communication) cannot be the subjects for comparing risks, when they cannot get the information they want. On the other hand, we can understand that the strict scientific judgments are needed for experts. We cannot decide whether we should follow to the strict scientific judgments, or requests of public opinion. Here, we have to discuss which way to choose. But in Japan, senders of risk communication seem to have no discussion about this point.
This research grasps the characteristic and the change of the agricultural management structure of our country first. Next, this research clarifies the managerial economic meaning of the joint work regarding roughage production by three cow breeding farms in the mountainous area in Okayama Pref. And, it is evaluated that this production union effectively uses regional resources and is developing sustainable agriculture. It is important for this production union to accumulate the unplanted area very efficiently and to product feed and forage crops. This production union will be more requested to harmonize with the natural environment and the peasant people in this region. The promotion of such a production union is indispensable for the activation of the mountainous area.