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Disillusioning Modernity

Brunczel, Balázs

Disillusioning Modernity

Niklas Luhmann’s Social and Political Theory

Year of Publication: 2010

Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 311 pp.
ISBN 978-3-631-60450-2 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.400 kg, 0.882 lbs

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Book synopsis

The work of Niklas Luhmann is the most innovative and comprehensive attempt to describe modern society. His views, in turn, have triggered the most intensive criticism ever in social sciences. This book presents his extraordinarily complex theory in a step-by-step fashion and in a way understandable for those who are not familiar with his thought. It examines his views on politics, which, the author argues, is the best way to demonstrate the provocative character of his theory. The book not only facilitates the understanding of Luhmann’s theory but is also useful for getting an insight into the methodological problems of the social sciences and the theoretical issues of modern society. Whether we agree with Luhmann or not, his thoughts on democracy, legitimacy, human rights, and the welfare state may help us understand the society we live in. The reader may consider his disillusioning findings as challenges that can contribute to the solution of the problems our society faces.


Contents: Niklas Luhmann – Systems Theory – Theory of Society – Theory of Communication – Theory of Evolution – Sociology of Knowledge – Theory of Politics – State – Legitimacy – Democracy – Public Sphere – Welfare State – Realism – Constructivism – Methodological Individualism – Universal Human Rights – Cultural Relativism – Ideology.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Balázs Brunczel is Research Fellow at the Institute of Political Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest.