Government is not traditionally the domain of natural science. But a growing body of researchers think it should be. In their view, rather than being one damned thing after another, human history is just as much in thrall to natural laws as anthills or oceans. If so, the mathematics developed to understand such systems might also help explain how human societies work – and why they sometimes don't.
For example, some complexity theorists say that many civic institutions, built for a minimally networked world, are unfit for purpose. Our more populous and connected societies can't be governed via traditional hierarchies: these need to be displaced by more decentralised networks. In this regard, industry may be faster on the uptake, since many companies are already making that transition.