Complex Social Systems
Attendance dates:April 2020: 27, 28, 29
Time commitment: 3 days
Stag Hill campus, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH
Complexity social science represents an important new suite of methods that moves researchers beyond the traditional reliance on quantitative or qualitative approaches.
This module will introduce you to complex social systems and the challenges of complexity social science and policy research. You will learn about a range of methods to tackle these challenges, in particular focusing on methods to understand complex causality including qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) and process tracing/Bayesian updating. You will encounter real-world case studies, within the research and policy processes.
On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
- Understand the challenge of complexity in the social sciences and policy research (C, P and T)
- Be able to use QCA and process tracing/Bayesian updating as methods in social science research (K, C, P and T)
- Introduction to complex social systems
- Causality in complex systems
- Deep uncertainty and “wicked” problems
- Process tracing
- Bayesian updating
- Narratives and evidence
- Social science and policy research
Learning and teaching methods
- Practical workshops
- Group discussion
Corinna is a computational social scientist. Her main research interests are in methods development, in particular methods for complexity social science, and methodological and epistemological aspects of agent-based modelling and social simulation.
Byrne, D. and Callaghan, G., 2013. Complexity theory and the social sciences: the state of the art. Routledge.
Rihoux, B. and Ragin, C.C., 2009. Configurational comparative methods: qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) and related techniques. Sage Publishing.
There are no formal entry requirements for this module.
Fees and funding
Price per person:
£595Government and commercial sector applicants
£495Education and charitable sector applicants
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