Concepts of Social Self-Organisation

INTAS Project "Human Strategies in Complexity" Research Paper No. 4

69 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2003

Date Written: August 1, 2002


This report points out that there are structuralistic as well as subjective conceptions of social self-organisation. The first stress the self-reproduction of social structures, the second aspects of participation, direct democracy, co-operation, respect, solidarity, responsibility and tolerance. Arguments in favour of a dialectical conception of social self-organisation that both incorporates systemic and subjective aspects are put forward. Social systems theory is mainly focused on functionalist aspects and stands in the tradition of Niklas Luhmann. This tradition lacks aspects of the role of human actors and cannot consistently explain the relationship of social structures and actors. The report shows that social systems theory should be grounded in conceiving the relationship of system and subject dialectically as has been done in some works of modern sociology like the ones of Pierre Bourdieu and Anthony Giddens.

Keywords: self-organisation, society, social system

JEL Classification: P1

Suggested Citation

Fuchs, Christian, Concepts of Social Self-Organisation (August 1, 2002). INTAS Project "Human Strategies in Complexity" Research Paper No. 4, Available at SSRN: or

Christian Fuchs (Contact Author)

University of Salzburg ( email )

A-5020 Salzburg

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics