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The current economic crisis illustrates a critical need for new and fundamental understanding of the structure and dynamics of economic networks. Economic systems are increasingly built on interdependencies, implemented through trans-national credit and investment networks, trade relations, or supply chains that have proven difficult to predict and control. We need, therefore, an approach that stresses the systemic complexity of economic networks and that can be used to revise and extend established paradigms in economic theory. This will facilitate the design of policies that reduce conflicts between individual interests and global efficiency, as well as reduce the risk of global failure by making economic networks more robust.