Re-thinking inclusion beyond unity and mediation beyond discretionary steering
On social systems and societal constitutions
in Critical theory and sociological theory
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Literal readings of terms such as centralisation and de-centralisation can lead to misinterpretations of the issues involved when assessing the fibre and composition of legitimacy and statehood. When applied to modern states, for example, centralisation and the division of powers are mutually reinforcing rather than contradictory or antithetical. Similarly, social systems are dispersed and nonetheless in steady communication with one another through a wide range of mediations. One of the crucial points for this chapter and for the book as a whole is that social systems are not joined according to a model of mediated unity. Their relations can be compared instead to a constellation of constituent elements that transmit and receive coded communication. At this historical juncture it can be said that inter-systemic social communication proceeds according to the dialectics of mediated non-identity. The dialectics of mediated non-identity imply a qualitatively different model of statehood than the dialectics of mediated unity. However inchoately, it is a model of social statehood in tune with the potentially constitutional dimensions of social systems.

Critical theory and sociological theory

On late modernity and social statehood

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