Many of the phenomena studied by public administration and policy researchers emerge as a result of complex interactions between various factors over time. That is, these phenomena are systemic and display properties of complex systems. As a consequence, they cannot be explained in a simple way by inquiring into the net effect of a variable on some outcome of interest. Instead, it requires researchers to use frameworks, theories, and methods that heed the complexity. This is what Heather Campbell, Yushim Kim, and Adam Eckerd do in their book Rethinking Environmental Justice in Sustainable Cities: Insights from Agent-Based Modeling. In my book review, I argue that the authors show that Agent-Based Modeling can generate interesting insights for public administrators and policy makers beyond what is possible with methods that do not heed to the complexity of urban systems.
Publication | Verweij, S. (2016). Rethinking environmental justice in sustainable cities: Insights from agent-based modeling. Review of Policy Research, 33 (2), 226-228.