S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Dept. of Political of Political Sciences and International Relations (정치외교학부) Political Science (정치학전공) Journal Papers (저널논문_정치학전공)
The Social and the Political in Luhmann
- Kim, Joohyung
- Issue Date
- Contemporary Political Theory, Vol.14 No.4, pp. 355–376
- This article examines Luhmanns contributions to contemporary political theory from a different light than has been made available thus far in Anglo-American political theory. More specifically, I argue that social systems theory makes a provoking and productive intervention in the ongoing debate on competing conceptions of critique and normativity. I first compare Luhmanns approach with that of Foucaults and show that systems theory powerfully interrogates the sociological validity of the structure of normativity often found in the currently prominent liberal-universalist political theory. Later in the article, however, I identify a central theoretical problem in Luhmanns brand of systems theory – namely a highly constricted notion of politics. This, I argue, stems from a strong apolitical structure of its overarching concept, the social. I trace this problem by analyzing the peculiar character of Luhmanns normativism, or what I call reluctant normativism, and then by putting his central concepts alongside the recent developments in the theories of the political.
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