This book attempts to address some of the interesting questions that revolve around the formation and dissolution of human societies in general. Specifically whether, and how, we can shape the nature of cohesion present in modern societies. Some example questions we will review include: Why are complex systems able to form stable structures at all? Why are there companies, states and societies in such diverse forms? In particular we will attempt to understand what makes any culture, or organisation stable, and whether it is possible to increase the degree of social cohesion? The first two chapters lay the groundwork by introducing some key topics from the fields of Complex Systems, Networks, and computer-based modelling of social systems.
This book aims to address these questions and provide some ideas on how we may understand the principles that guide the development, stability and growth of complex social systems. The question which will be returned to is: what forces create and sustain an integrated whole? In other words, what exactly is ‘cohesion’, and why should we be concerned with its scientific investigation.