Abstract only
Anastasia Marinopoulou

1  4 Systems theory They can speak like Hegel. But they have no language left but the dialectical one. The countermeasure I have in mind is to make the theory decisions as transparent as possible. Niklas Luhmann, Introduction to Systems Theory1 Damit fehlen ausreichende Anhaltspunkte für ein Ausschöpfen des Möglichen, für Rationalisierung. Wir leben, wie man seit dem Erdbeben von Lissabon weiß, nicht in der besten der möglichen Welten, sondern in einer Welt voll besserer Möglichkeiten. Niklas Luhmann, Theorie der Gesellschaft oder Sozialtechnologie2

in Critical theory and epistemology
The politics of modern thought and science

Epistemology should be the axe that breaks the ice of a traditionalism that covers and obstructs scientific enlightenment. This book explores the arguments between critical theory and epistemology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Focusing on the first and second generations of critical theorists and Luhmann's systems theory, it examines how each approaches epistemology. The book offers a critique of the Kantian base of critical theory's epistemology in conjunction with the latter's endeavour to define political potential through the social function of science. The concept of dialectics is explored as the negation of the irrational and, furthermore, as the open field of epistemological conflict between rationality and irrationality. The book traces the course of arguments that begin with Dilthey's philosophy of a rigorous science, develop with Husserl's phenomenology, Simmel's and Weber's interest in the scientific element within the social concerns of scientific advance. In structuralism, the fear of dialogue prevails. The book discusses the epistemological thought of Pierre Bourdieu and Gilles Deleuze in terms of their persistence in constructing an epistemological understanding of social practice free from the burdens of dialectics, reason and rationality. It also enquires into issues of normativity and modernity within a comparative perspective on modernism, postmodernism and critical theory. Whether in relation to communication deriving from the threefold schema of utterance- information- understanding or in relation to self- reflexivity, systems theory fails to define the bearer or the actor of the previous structural processes. Critical realism attempted to ground dialectics in realism.

Abstract only
Darrow Schecter

concerns. Just as orthodox Marxism does little to effectively explain these processes, most articulations of academic systems theory are also of questionable value in this endeavour. This book retains determinate aspects of the dialectical approach to mediation found in some first-​generation critical theory, but gives 6 Critical theory and sociological theory dialectics a sociological inflection by applying it to the functioning of social systems in contemporary world society. This approach enables researchers to inquire into the reasons why de-​differentiation does

in Critical theory and sociological theory
Abstract only
Shivdeep Grewal

. Established integration theories can be used to refine the concept of juridification. The following section considers which are suited to the task: those indebted to, or at least compatible with, systems theory. Section two recounts Habermas’s survey of action and systems theories. Though critical of functionalism, he has drawn inspiration from the systems-theoretic approaches of Talcott Parsons and Niklas Luhmann. In depicting a complex and somewhat decentralised administrative apparatus, for example, BFN could be seen as the most

in Habermas and European integration
Abstract only
Shivdeep Grewal

theories can be used to refine the concept of juridification. The following section considers which are suited to the task: those indebted to, or at least compatible with, systems theory. Section two recounts Habermas’s survey of action and systems theories. Though critical of functionalism, he has drawn inspiration from the systemstheoretic approaches of Talcott Parsons and Niklas Luhmann. In depicting a complex and somewhat decentralised administrative apparatus, for example, BFN could be seen as the most ‘Luhmannian’ of Habermas’s texts, and thus contrasted with the

in Habermas and European Integration (second edition)
An investigation of the theoretical lineage to Giovanni Arrighi
Chikako Nakayama

globalization’ (Arrighi, 1999a: 57). Much earlier, Arrighi and Silver had commented on how TGT had been ‘attracting a growing number of admirers in the context of late twentieth and early twenty-first century “globalization” ’ (Silver and Arrighi, 2003: 325).1 While Arrighi’s work has drawn on many sources aside from Polanyi, and it is possible to exaggerate Polanyi’s influence, we find it worthwhile to clarify what Arrighi borrowed from Polanyi in the context of world-systems theory, of which Arrighi was a principal representative, along with Immanuel Wallerstein, the main

in Karl Polanyi and twenty-first-century capitalism
Chris Abel

their identity – which he likened to the dynamic relations between a gas flame and its environment. Once the flame has been lit, Polanyi explains, it will maintain its shape by a constant inflow of combustible material and outflow of waste products: ‘To this extent, its identity is not defined by its physical or chemical topography, but by the operational principles which sustain it [added emphasis].’50 Noting that evolution works too slowly to observe any major functional changes at first hand, Polanyi stresses the larger perspective that systems theory affords

in The extended self

Karl Polanyi (1886–1964) returned to public discourse in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded and globalization erupted. Best known for The Great Transformation, Polanyi’s wide-ranging thought anticipated twenty-first-century civilizational challenges of ecological collapse, social disintegration and international conflict, and warned that the unbridled domination of market capitalism would engender nationalist protective counter-movements. In Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt bring together prominent and new thinkers in the field to extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi's life and work. Kari Polanyi Levitt's opening essay situates Polanyi in the past century shaped by Keynes and Hayek, and explores how and why his ideas may shape the twenty-first century. Her analysis of his Bennington Lectures, which pre-dated and anticipated The Great Transformation, demonstrates how Central European his thought and chief concerns were. The next several contributions clarify, for the first time in Polanyi scholarship, the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Other contributions resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi's thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States' exceptional development, the reality of society and socialism as freedom in a complex society. The volume culminates in explorations of how Polanyi has influenced, and can be used to develop, ideas in a number of fields, whether income inequality, world-systems theory or comparative political economy. Contributors: Fred Block, Michael Brie, Radhika Desai, Michael Hudson, Hannes Lacher, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Chikako Nakayama, Jamie Peck, Abraham Rotstein, Margaret Somers, Claus Thomasberger, Oscar Ugarteche Galarza.

Torbjørn L. Knutsen

working definitions (Bertalanffy 1950 ). During the mid-1950s general systems theory was introduced to business administration, foreign-policy analysis and security studies. 18 Academics in these fields mapped out social interaction as flowcharts that looked like wiring diagrams and circuit boards from electrical engineering. Social groups were said to have adaptive properties and were compared to self-equilibrating models of thermostat systems. Terms like ‘input’, ‘output’ and ‘feedback’ were introduced to represent various stages in economic and political processes

in A history of International Relations theory (third edition)
The emergence of ‘left-wing’ Scottish nationalism, 1956–81
Rory Scothorne and Ewan Gibbs

-Nairn thesis and World-Systems theory. As well as the international and intellectual significance of 1956, 1955 saw the all-time high Conservative vote at a general election in Scotland of 50.1 per cent and the peak of Scottish industrial employment soon followed.3 Our analysis therefore focuses on the reception and deployment of ‘New Left’ ideas in Scotland between the 1960s and 1980s, particularly in the 1975 Red Paper on Scotland, edited by Gordon Brown, and Stephen Maxwell’s The Case for Left-Wing Nationalism, first published in 1981.4 This will include a consideration

in Waiting for the revolution