Pandemic Luhmann

13 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2020

See all articles by Paul-Marie Boulanger

Paul-Marie Boulanger

Institut pour un Développement Durable (IDD)

Andrea Saltelli

University of Bergen

Date Written: April 27, 2020


In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, important transformations are taking place while a dense veil of uncertainty clouds the way out of the present predicaments. This short, impromptu comment, based on the theories of German sociologist Niklas Luhmann, plays the game of “What would Luhmann have said”, without the ambition to predict actual outcomes, but just as an exercise of interrogating his theory. Of course, Luhmann’s own brilliance would have considerably helped.

Keywords: Autopoiesis, Covid-19, digitalization, nation state, politics, science, structural coupling, technology social systems theory, world society

Suggested Citation

Boulanger, Paul-Marie and Saltelli, Andrea, Pandemic Luhmann (April 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Paul-Marie Boulanger (Contact Author)

Institut pour un Développement Durable (IDD) ( email )


Andrea Saltelli

University of Bergen ( email )

Muséplassen 1
N-5008 Bergen, +47 55 58

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