To explore the sociological concept of autopoiesis (N. Luhmann), investigate its interdisciplinary roots and demonstrate its practical relevance.
The biological concept of autopoiesis (H. Maturana/F. Varela) and the philosophical concept of meaning (E. Husserl) are first discussed with respect to their contribution to the development of the sociological concept of autopoiesis. The autopoietic mechanism of three different social systems is then described, and the practical relevance of the sociological concept of autopoiesis demonstrated using the example of governance.
The scientific positioning of the sociological approach to autopoiesis is two‐fold. On the one hand, it is firmly rooted in the scientific tradition and, on the other, its originality is determined by the adaptation and new combination of existing concepts. Although this adaptation‐combination process has provoked some criticism, the result does matter because it enriches the theoretical and empirical analysis which we use to explain the dynamics of modern societies.
The application of the sociological concept of autopoiesis to politics gives new insights into the opportunities and barriers of governance processes.
Positioning of the sociological concept of autopoiesis within the scientific tradition and its application (beyond metaphorical usage) as an analytical tool.
Buchinger, E. (2006), "The sociological concept of autopoiesis: Biological and philosophical basics and governance relevance", Kybernetes, Vol. 35 No. 3/4, pp. 360-374. https://doi.org/10.1108/03684920610653674Download as .RIS
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