Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 09/2012

Governing for the Future: What Governments can do

Peter Ho

September 2012

S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies


The paper looks at how governments can be better prepared to deal with increasing complexity. Complexity produces strategic shocks and generates wicked problems. But complexity is different from merely complicated. A more complex operating environment increasingly challenges the paradigm of governments. A whole-of-government approach is a vital response to managing an increasingly complex world. There are also various tools that can be deployed to help governments better deal with complexity, and reduce the frequency and amplitude of strategic shocks.