Niklas Luhmann offers an accessible introduction to one of the
most important sociologists of our time. It presents the key
concepts within Luhmann's multifaceted theory of modern society,
and compares them with the work of other key social theorists such
as J?rgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, and Zygmunt Bauman.
The book pays particular attention to introducing and discussing
Luhmann's original sociological systems theory. It presents a
thorough investigation into the different phases of his oeuvre,
through which both the shifting emphases as well as the
continuities in his thinking are shown. The primary focus of this
text is Luhmann's theory of modern society as being differentiated
into a plethora of ?function systems? ? such as politics, law, and
economy ? which operate according to their own distinct logics and
which cannot interfere with one another. For Luhmann, this
functional differentiation works as a bulwark against totalitarian
rule, and as such is a key foundation of modern democracy.
Furthermore, the book critically examines the implications of this
functional differentiation for inclusion and exclusion dynamics, as
well as for the understanding of power and politics.
This is a key text for both undergraduate and postgraduate
students of areas including contemporary social theory, political
sociology, and sociology.
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