InterJournal Complex Systems, 605
Status: Submitted
Manuscript Number: [605]
Submission Date: 20823
How Complex Systems Studies Could Help in Identification of Threats of Terrorism?
Author(s): Czeslaw Mesjasz

Subject(s): CX.16, CX.43, CX.46

Category: Brief Article


The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 have once again reminded that limitations of prediction constitute the key factor in security theory and policy. Threats are often unpredictable, not because of objective barriers of their predictability, but due to the impact of social context and subsequent mental constraints, which make perception biased and eventually limit validity of prediction. The main aim of the paper is to assess what could be the use of complex systems studies in improving predictive instruments of security theory. The concepts of securitization of threats and vulnerability of social systems are used as a point of departure of analysis. Special stress is put upon analogies and metaphors drawn from complexity studies which are used in security theory and policy. Attention is focused on the threats of terrorism yet conclusions can be extended to other domains of security studies. The paper aims at deepening reflections on methodology of security theory and is addressed to two groups of readers. First, to scholars interested in complexity studies who are convinced that their methods could be directly applied in security theory and policy, and in other domains of social sciences. Second, to specialists in security theory and policy makers who, in turn, expect that new methods of complexity science could enrich the inventory of methods used in their efforts of predicting and policy making.

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