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The hybridisation of contracting

always lies in the blind spot of the distinction between system and environment. 15 Is this a failing of modern society or a failing of its theory? Is it the reality of functional differentiation or its self-description that is at fault here? Under conditions of functional differentiation, can the contractual differences no longer be bridged? Or is it only that contract theory no longer has anything to say about

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
The logics of ‘hitting the bottom’

appear: that is the normal state of things. Rather, it is the moment when the collapse is directly imminent. Functionally differentiated society appears to ignore earlier opportunities for self-correction; to ignore the fact that sensitive observers point out the impending danger in warnings and entreaties. The endogenous self-energising processes are so dominant that they allow self-correction only at the very last

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
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as the product of a single firm or manufacturer’ (Merriam-Webster, no date). Historically, the term brand has been traced to the Old Norse word brandr, which means ‘to burn’. Producers would literally burn their mark into their merchandise to differentiate it from similar commodities marketed by other producers (Marketing Magazine, 2006). Thousands of years ago, ancient craftsmen in societies in the Far East and Middle East not only marked their products, but also used other markers on signs and, when it became available, early forms of paper such as papyrus, to

in Kids and branding in a digital world
On the sociological paradoxes of weak dialectical formalism and embedded neoliberalism

institutional forms that perform better than existing political systems currently do in response to demands for political inclusion. One can illustrate the point by examining the symmetries linking formal political inclusion (voting rights) with the imperative (strategy and ‘common sense’) to respect the systemic logic of parties of government versus parties of opposition as the only valid practical political knowledge appropriate for functionally differentiated societies. Clearly, however, this pared-​down, instrumental knowledge is not the most appropriate or the only one

in Critical theory and sociological theory

understand how conflict can be a symptom, two things have to be noted. First, conflict is endemic, and, second, functional conflicts can be differentiated from dysfunctional ones, or, at least, the functional value of conflict can be differentiated from its dysfunctional consequences. Conflict can have, for example, group-binding, group-preserving and internal cohesion increasing functions. Since conflicts

in Culture and international conflict resolution
Irritating nation-state constitutionalism

question regulates the abstraction of a uniform communicative medium – power, money, law, knowledge – as an autonomous social construct within a worldwide constitutive functional system. To that purpose, organisational rules, procedures, competences and subjective rights are developed, the separation between different social spheres is codified, and, in that way, the functional differentiation of society

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis

the utility functions of different consumers does not imply complete convergence of their preferences and wants. One of the most common trends observed in consumption is the growing differentiation, or even individualisation, of consumers’ choices as their income grows. Thus we have to acknowledge that as new objects of consumption are created there are forces leading both to the convergence and to the divergence of individual ranking orders. The previous considerations imply that the creation of a radical innovation cannot be stimulated by existing demand. If

in Innovation by demand
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The milestones of Teubner’s neo-pluralism

be gradually overshadowed in favour of a ‘functionalism of connections’ that is better suited, in the perspective of the general systems theory, to capturing the various functional combinations and superimpositions that are suggested by the fragmented legal orders which actually regulate our life. This perspective would pave the way for further shifting the accent of Teubner's models of law from systemic differentiations to

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis
On social systems and societal constitutions

what follows below, since it has already been Re-thinking inclusion and mediation 167 shown that dialectical de-​coupling and re-​coupling in this regard is one of the hallmarks of modern, functionally differentiated societies. Instead, ­chapter 5 examines some of the major challenges facing the project of reaching a constitutional equilibrium between key norms of political statehood and the facts of systemic pluralism. Meeting them will depend on the degree to which world-​ societal organisations and institutions can utilise existing constitutional experience and

in Critical theory and sociological theory
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The vain search for legal unity in the fragmentation of global law

under-provision and stark discrepancies in life and development potential, have an underlying cause that must be analysed in terms of functional differentiation and autonomous systems dynamics; by the same token, it is simply inappropriate to downplay the significance of the problems produced by global finance markets, hedge funds, financial speculation, pharmaceutical patents, the drugs trade and reproductive

in Critical theory and legal autopoiesis