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A stability involving many alternative and sometimes only temporary equilibria (see equilibrium) and is characteristic of systems involving many weakly interacting components. When systems are joined to form larger wholes, communication among them tends to have the effect of disturbing each other's individual equilibria. The equilibrium of the whole is not merely selective of and may not even coincide with the equilibria of its parts. Polystable systems may come to a temporary rest which disturbs some of its parts and forces the system to another temporary rest, etc., until it reaches a final and often dynamic equilibrium. E.g., an economy can typically operate at different configurations of unemployment, GNP, capital investments, etc., and is hence polystable with each major participant trying to move it away from what they consider less advantageous individually. (Krippendorff) (see polystable system)
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