Application of a Systems Approach to Studying Global Socio-Economic Inequality

Czesław Mesjasz, Lidia Mesjasz


Ideas drawn from broadly-defined systems thinking, including complex systems studies, have already been used to describe and explain social and economic inequality at various levels of the societal hierarchy, beginning with individuals and ending on the global scale. Bearing in mind the studies on economic and social inequality, the following research question can be asked: What are the universal, systemic characteristics of socio-economic inequality on the global scale? How could a systems approach, including complex systems studies, be helpful in studying socio-economic inequality on the global scale? As a point of departure in the literature survey, two conjectures are formulated and discussed. First, socio-economic inequality constitutes an inherent part of developed societies on the global scale and affects regions, countries, social groups, and individuals. Second, a systems approach, and complex systems studies in particular, can be helpful in analyses of socio-economic inequality by helping to identify causal relations. This concerns, in particular, the theory of hierarchical systems and the Power Law.


complex systems, inequality, systems approach, Power Law, scale-free networks

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