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Applying complexity theoryWhole systems approaches to criminal justice and social work$
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Aaron Pycroft and Clemens Bartollas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447311409

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447311409.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Applying complexity theory

Aaron Pycroft

Policy Press

The introduction outlines the book’s central contention: that interdisciplinary approaches based upon the study of complexity theory and non-linearity helps us both to understand and to act in just and ethical ways to respond to problems of reoffending, addiction and child protection. It explains complexity theory as a theory concerned with non-linearity, and demonstrates that outputs from any system, whether it is a probation or social work intervention, are not necessarily proportionate to inputs and are, in fact, unpredictable due to the interaction effects within the system, its subsystems and wider environmental demands. The introduction goes on to summarise the book’s unique place in the social work literature and gives a description of the contents of each chapter.

Keywords:   interdisciplinary, complexity theory, reoffending, addiction, child protection, intervention

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