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Die Selbstbeschreibung der Gesellschaft : der Begriff der Nation als missing link der Systemtheorie?

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Kittel, Bernhard

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Corporate Editor Institut für Höhere Studien (IHS), Wien
Abstract "Actual macro-theories of nationalism lack a systematic integration into a metatheory. The paper proposes to use systems theory as a conceptual tool for this requirement by examining two of its branches. First, an attempt is made to determine a systematic location of the notion of nation in Niklas Luhmann's framework. Luhmann himself did not, until now, include the problem of nationalism into his concept. The author, therefore, proposes to embed the notion of nation into Luhmann's concept either by arguing that it refers to the scope of a political system or by arguing that it refers to the self-description of a society. It follows that any theory of the nation should be regarded as a »theory of reflection« (Reflexionstheorie) of a politically defined society. But, as a concept of identification cannot be formulated without referring to the individual, a purely systemic approach only describes half of the phenomenon. Therefore, second, the author takes up Peter M. Hejl's approach, which does not only use Humberto Maturana's concept of autopoiesis by analogy, but attempts to work out its consequences for social theory. Following this branch of systems theory, nationalism can be conceptualized as a consequence of the resurgence of competing self-descriptions inside one spatial unit. By combining the macro- and the micro-approaches in such a way, the crafting of a systemic theory of nationalism may be advanced." [author's abstract]
Keywords nationalism; system theory; Luhmann, N.; metatheory; society; nation; concept
Classification General Concepts, Major Hypotheses and Major Theories in the Social Sciences
Document language German
Publication Year 1993
City Wien
Page/Pages 37 p.
Series Reihe Politikwissenschaft / Institut für Höhere Studien, Abt. Politikwissenschaft, 4
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