Autopoiesis And Configuration Theory

R.J. Veld

Modern societies accumulate both wealth and complexity. The capacity of public authority to deal with complexity however, does not seem to evolve at the same pace and consequently does not generate satisfactory solutions to the tremendous threats to the future of mankind. The Ineffectiveness of public policy is evident. In spite of the expanding reservoir of knowledge. Policy makers are confronted with the paradox of modernization: the more knowledge is generated by the sciences, the less It seems to be applicable for purposes of societal steering. Although there is a growing need for strong and coordinated governmental action. It seems increasingly difficult to attain political goals through successful policy Implementation. Knowledge Itself has become a problem. When conflicts of interest and differing visions lead only to contusion and disappointment. Mono-centric and mono-disciplinary approaches no longer offer satisfactory solutions to understanding the very fabric and dynamics of complexity and multiplicity itself. This book explores the potential of two theoretical approaches. autopoiesis theory and configuration theory, for effective societal steering. The Interest in these theoretical approaches is a relatively new, but apparently very promising phenomenon to the social and policy sciences. For the first time these theoretical approaches are discussed in one volume and for the first time their potential for descriptive and prescriptive analysis of effective steering is examined. The many paradoxes with which policymakers are faced today ore addressed from different disciplinary and multidisciplinary angles thus enhancing our comprehension of some of the underlying processes of social and political change. This book offers a major contribution towards the development of on adequate body of knowledge in public administration and policy sciences.

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