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Trans-national Practices - Systems Thinking in Policy Making (2006)

Nordregio 2006

An important part of what Nordregio does can be called 'commissioned research', e.g. for clients asking for evaluations of programmes or policies or, what this book is arguing for, evaluations of complex social systems. Furthermore, over the years, most assignments have had a trans-national character.

Evaluations and assessments of complex social systems cannot as a rule be done from "the outside". Complex social systems cannot be treated as objects, but rather have to be seen as subjects, for this is the only way to understand what is going on in the system.

Therefore it has been necessary from the very beginning to develop a common set of methodologies and concepts concerning these specific evaluation tasks. That is what Trans-national Practices is about. The book was written by researchers who where in situ at Nordregio in its initial years of consolidation and redevelopment, and as such, the book reflects the scientific discussions taking place at the institute around the year 2000.

Trans-national Practices is dedicated to the memory of Senior Research Fellow Lars Olof Persson who functioned as a mentor for many young researchers and who was one of the "scientific founders" of Nordregio.