Aim: The aim of this review article is to present possibilities which chaos theory brings into the social sciences. It presents its benefits and challenges that need to be overcome. The author also attempts to answer the question of whether chaos theory can be regarded as a scientific revolution in security studies.
Introduction: In the era of complex and turbulent political and social circumstances which pose new challenges to countries in the field of security theories which previously were outside the scientific mainstream can gain in importance. In order to provide domestic and international security, national governments are forced to depart from the paradigms applied so far. One of the important problems, from the perspective of the global situation, is that government strategies were often created with a different world in mind. Many of these derived from the time when the world was divided as a result of the Cold War. Chaos theory allows us to look into the dangers of terrorism, changes in ethnic structure, or global climate change and natural disasters from a new perspective. All these processes can be explained with the use of the elements of chaos theory. In the financial sector, scientists are searching for an attractor which will explain the stock market. Other studies focus on forecasting and preparing for tsunamis based on the soliton theory. However, one of the problems which will be considered in this review article is the possibility of using a theory derived from the exact sciences in the social sciences and the risks that come with it.
Methodology: This review article is based on the methods of analysis, critical literature review and deductions stemming from experience and observation.
Conclusions: Despite the new opportunities offered by chaos theory, treating it as a revolution in the social sciences would not be warranted. The reason for this is the fundamental difference between the exact and the social sciences. In the latter, researchers always must take into the account certain unpredictability and randomness during studies. This is connected with the fact that every field of science, with human in the centre of its interest, must take into account many diverse factors. Therefore, predicting an individual’s behaviour, especially in a crisis situation, is impossible. Chaos theory, however, provides us with new tools for research in the social sciences. Its universality comes from the fact that it can be used in chaos theory as well as in other theories.
Keywords: chaos theory, attractor, deterministic chaos, solitons
Type of article: review article