This book combines new theory with many illustrations of how global processes operate. Urry distinguishes between ‘global networks’ and ‘global fluids’, and shows how forms of global emergence develop from the complex relationships between these networks and fluids. He draws out the implications of global complexity for our understanding of social order and argues that complexity requires us to reformulate the main categories of sociology and to reject any globalization thesis that is over-unified, dominant and unambiguous in its effects. Global systems are always ‘on the edge of chaos’.
This book will be of particular interest to students and scholars of sociology, politics, geography and economics and to and to all those concerned with rethinking the nature of globalization.
* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
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Steven M. Manson, University of Minnesota, Progress in Human Geography
"This is a fascinating analysis of the non-linear relationships underlying global complexity. By carefully using the metaphors, concepts and models of complexity theory, Urry avoids the trap of oversimplification and shows us many insights that are likely to stimulate and shape future research in this largely unexplored field."
Fritjof Capra, author of The Web of Life and The Hidden Connections
"John Urry provides a remarkably fluent account of the complexities of the fluid world in which we now find ourselves. And in the process of understanding the world as process, he lays down a challenge to all social scientists to rework their traditional intellectual boundaries. Inspiring."
Nigel Thrift, Bristol University
"This is a short book with a large and compelling agenda ... [it] paints a unique picture of the current state of the world."
American Journal of Sociology
Chapter 1: Societies and the Global.
Chapter 2: The Complexity Turn.
Chapter 3: Limits of ‘Global' Analyses.
Chapter 4: Networks and Fluids.
Chapter 5: Global Emergence.
Chapter 6: Social Ordering and Power.
Chapter 7: Complexity beyond Society.