Coleman's equilibrium model of social development, the Linear System of Action, is extended to cover the dynamics of societal transitions. The model implemented has the characteristics of a dissipative system. A variation and selection algorithm favoring the retention of relatively dependent actors forces the system away from equilibrium, while exchange of control, according to Coleman the driving force behind social action, accounts for dissipation, pulling the social system back to equilibrium. This Non-linear System of Action self-organizes into a critical state, as confirmed by the robust power law distribution of exchange of control for a wide range of model sizes. Related punctuated equilibrium dynamics and structural change are of special interest, as these are closely connected to hypotheses on social dynamics developed in the literature on societal transitions.

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Computational & Mathematical Organization Theory
Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT)

Timmermans, J. (2008). Punctuated equilibrium in a non-linear system of action. Computational & Mathematical Organization Theory, 14(4), 350–375. doi:10.1007/s10588-008-9031-5