Root draws methodological insight from complex systems and network science to study the historical formation of two distinct network topologies. The European small-world model of multiple hubs and lateral connections, formed through intermarried monarchies, allowed rapid diffusion of innovations and exhibited resilience to disruptive perturbations. The hub-and-spoke model of the Chinese centralized bureaucracy, by contrast, gained stability and control at the cost of resilience and was more prone to system-wide breakdown when the central hub was threatened. Network structures are path-dependent and self-reinforcing. Once created, the European and Chinese models came to wield prolonging influences on each region’s economic trajectories, leading to the Great Divergence. The book includes three parts. Part I introduces some concepts and properties of complex systems and discusses their applications in political economics. Part II examines the historical network structures of Europe and China since the medieval period. Part III turns to the present day and...
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June 21 2021
Network Origins of the Global Economy: East vs. West in a Complex Systems Perspective
Network Origins of the Global Economy: East vs. West in a Complex Systems Perspective. By
Cambridge University Press,
Loyola Marymount University
Online Issn: 1530-9169
Print Issn: 0022-1953
© 2021 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2021) 52 (1): 108–110.
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Meng Zhang; Network Origins of the Global Economy: East vs. West in a Complex Systems Perspective. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2021; 52 (1): 108–110. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/jinh_r_01669
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