Complexity Science Reading Group

GLD's Complexity Science Reading Group!

Are you intrigued by the fascinating intersections of complexity science and social sciences? Do you want to delve deeper into how complex systems theory can illuminate various phenomena in our world?

Complexity science is the study of complex systems. While there is no definition of a complex system, it can be generally thought of as a system compromised of many components/agents with many interactions between them. These interactions result in emergent phenomena that could not be understood by analyzing any isolated part of the system alone.

We at GLD believe that we have much to learn from the field of complexity science. This semester, we have organized a reading group (8 meetings) to provide interested social science scholars with an opportunity to explore applications of complexity science in the social sciences and the methods used to do so.

So, come join GLD every other Tuesday (starting January 30) for a reading group on Applied Complexity Science, where we delve into this topic together!


Location: Lilla Skansen, Sprängkullsgatan 19 Gothenburg and Zoom, link:





Pre-Meeting Task

January 30


February 13

Please read the article: Homer-Dixon, T., Maynard, J. L., Mildenberger, M., et al., (2013) “A Complex Systems Approach to the Study of Ideology: Cognitive-Affective Structures and the Dynamics of Belief Systems,” Journal of Social and Political Sociology, Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 337-363. Available here: 4763-ComplexSystemsIdeology-30427-2-10-20201123.pdf

February 27

Please read the article: Brandt, M. J and Sleegers, W. W. A., (2021) “Evaluating Belief System Networks as a Theory of Political Belief System Dynamics,” Personality and Social Psychology Review, Vol. 25, Issue 2, pp. 159-185. Available here: brandt-sleegers-2021-evaluating-belief-system-networks-as-a-theory-of-political-belief-system-dynamics.pdf

March 12

Please read the article: Prieto-Curiel, R., et al., (2023) “Reducing Cartel Recruitment Is the Only Way to Lower Violence in Mexico,” Science, Vol. 381, pp. 1312-1316. Available here: CartelRecruitment_Mexico.pdf

March 26

Please read the article: Neuhäuser, L., et al., (2023) “Improving the Visibility of Minorities Through Network Growth Interventions,” Communications Physics, Vol. 6, e108. Available here: ImprovingVisibilityOfMinorities2023.pdf

April 9

Please read the article: Karimi, F., et al., (2018) “Homophily Influences Ranking of Minorities in Social Networks,” Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, e11077. Available here: Minorities_Homopholiy_SocialNetworks.pdf

April 23

Please read the article: Raducha, T., et al., (2023) “Vulnerability of Democratic Electoral Systems.” Available here: VulnerabilityDemocraticElectoralSystems.pdf

May 7

Please read the article: Prieto-Curiel, R., et al., (2022) “Detecting Cities with High Intermediacy in the African Urban Network,” Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Vol. 98, e101869. Available here: AfricanUrbanNetwork.pdf

Want a quick introduction to complexity science? Check out the episode What is complexity science and why should you care about it? of the Simplifying Complexity podcast. 


For a longer introduction, read the book Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows,