Self-Organized Criticality: A New Theory of Political Behaviour and Some of Its Implications
a1 PO Box 125, Hudson, Iowa 50643.
Adopting a particular non-linear perspective resolves numerous paradoxes about collective political behaviour. Self-organized criticality occurs if the sensitivity of individuals or groups to each other's actions increases with the passage of time, and, therefore, sudden changes may occur as cascades. In this way scandals, betrayals, miscalculations and other seemingly insignificant actions can sometimes cause cabinet dissolutions, strikes, riots, electoral landslides, wars and a multitude of other phenomena that, until now, have seemed to have had nothing in common.
1 The author would like to thank all the people who have contributed to his research in this area, particularly Howard Tamashiro and Jeff Cohen.