This article explores the thesis that we are at a time of historical inflection and suggests what next steps might look like. The change in the seat of authority from the sixteenth century on with the replacement of political and religious hierarchies by participatory democracy and Enlightenment philosophies based on rationalism has seen a remarkable period of progress in science, technology, education, medicine, governance, trade, economics, and the rule of law. The twenty-first century, however, has ushered in a series of reversals for liberal democracy, the fraying of the international rules-based order that emerged after the two world wars and a collapse of public confidence in the institutions and methods based on the rationalist approach. The article suggests that the old forms are dissolving and that the time has come for the emergence of a new paradigm and proposes that three developments may point toward the next evolutionary way station: the emergence of complexity science, an appreciation that our emotions are a positive evolutionary advantage rather than a flaw to be overcome, and a focus on relationships rather than simply on individuals.
Alderdice, John, Lord
"Conflict, Complexity, and Cooperation,"
New England Journal of Public Policy: Vol. 33
, Article 9.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol33/iss1/9