Sociology of the actor-centred analysis

First insertion on Heterodox Gazette Sam De Wolff: 2 may 2020

E.A. Bakkum is a blogger for the Sociaal Consultatiekantoor. He loves to reflect on the labour movement.

For the sake of the inter-disciplinary approach a bridge is needed between the actor-institution analysis and the differentiation theory of sociology. The institutional analysis of Ostrom is described again. It is shown, that in many situations the homo economicus is willing to cooperate. Three system-theories are presented, namely of Parsons, Luhmann and Sabatier. Their advantages and drawbacks are summarized, as well as their implications for planning. The Leninist application of system theory is described.

Actor-centred institutionalism and the institutional analysis and development pay relatively much attention to the influence of strategic choices on problem situations. Sociology is not very interested in strategic behaviour. Those who appreciate an inter-disciplinary application of actor-institution paradigms, must bridge the gap with the sociological perspective. Reversely, it is important that analysts with a deductive orientation become aware of the sociological concepts, which underly the actor theories.

Institutional analysis and development

In several previous columns the institutional analysis and development (in short IAD) has been described as a variant of actor-centred institutionalism (ACI). This ignores the qualities of IAD. Therefore the present paragraph yet elaborates on several characteristics of IAD. It models the situation as an action arena. The arena is succinctly in a single sentence described as "participants in positions, who must decide among diverse Actions in light of the Information they possess about how actions are Linked to potential Outcomes and the Costs and Benefits assigned to actions and outcomes"1. The parts of the sentence in red are the seven variables, which characterize the arena. Following methodological individualism, IAD defines a situation by means of its actors or participants. Each actor has one or more social roles or positions. The positions determine the possible actions, which the actor can choose.

Moreover, the actor has access to information thanks to his position. The information tells the actor among others, to what extent he can control the outcomes of the total set of actions. In the mentioned sentence the term "linked" expresses his control. This concept is the most complicated one of the seven variables, and therefore deserves some explanation. Actions are actually an inter-action, because the actors are mutually dependent for their outcomes. The actions interfere with each other. The combined effect of all separate actions is called their aggregation. An example is the election, where each actor can vote. The control of the actor is 1/K, where K is the number of actors. Another example is the negotiation, which is concluded with a collective contract. Here the control is determined by the power, which is available to an actor2.

The IAD terminology refers to the aggregation as a set of transformation functions3. The set of actions can be represented as a game in its extensive form. Indeed the IAD is clearly influenced by ideas from game theory. Note that in game theory an action is called a strategy. The events in the action arena are a chain of successive individual actions. Transformation functios are coupled to the various nodes in the decision tree, which is passed through. The outcomes are the concrete, objective results of the combined action. However, each actor has his own subjective valuation of the outcomes, which are calculated as a personal analysis of costs and benefits.

Each of the seven variables determines a corresponding category of rules of behaviour. Together these rules determine the system of institutions in the arena. There are rules of boundary, which regulate the entry of actors in the action situation. There are rules of position, which describe the available positions, roles or functions. The boundary rules also regulate the access of actors to these functions. The possible actions of an actor are determined by his authority. Therefore his actions are subjected to the rules of authority. The IAD illustrates this with game-theoretic concepts. Namely, the authority rules determine the form of the decision tree in the action situation. In each node of the tree these rules define, what an actor can do4. E. Ostrom refers to the authority rules as rules of choice5. Apparently the authority of a position contributes to the power of the concerned actor6.

The control, which the actor can exert on the relation between actions and outcomes, is regulated by the rules of aggregation. The aggregation is dictated by the institutions, and therefore can not be chosen by individuals. Each node in the decision tree has its own manner of aggregation. For instance, voting can be based on the majority, or on consensus. Sometimes the aggregation is simply the command of an actor7. The spreading of information is also regulated. The information is often tied to a certain position or function. Also interesting are the rules of scope. They restrict the possible outomces. And finally, there are rules of payoff, which regulate the costs and benefits of an actor.

Scheme of institutional analysis
Figure 1: Scheme of institutional analysis:
    variables and (outside of the arena) rules

The Ostrom couple presents the dependencies between the seven variables in a flow scheme8. See the figure 1. Your columnist translates this in mathematical formulas. The position pk of the actor k is actually an independent variable. It partly determines the information ik(pk) of the actor k. The power of the actor k can be represented as rk(pk, ik). Note that the IAD does not explicitely include this variable in the situation9. The set of possible actions is sk(pk, ik, rk). The outcome of the actor k is qk(s, f). Here s is the vector of selected strategies, with components sk (k=1, ..., K). And the vector f is the set of transformation functions. The nett utility of the outcome is uk(q, s). Here q is the vector of outcomes. The actor k naturally attaches value to qk, but sometimes also includes the outcomes of others in his valuation. The utility depends partly on s, which represents the process10. The utility can be divided in benefits bk and costs (disutilities) ck.

The theory of IAD is generally applicable, also in complex situations. Nevertheless it is clear, that it copies concepts of game theory. Reversely, studying game theory helps to better understand IAD. For instance, for a non-cooperative game in its normal form with a 2×2 matrix the transformation function is simply the matrix itself11. Note that the IAD is mostly applied to common-pool resources, in short CPR). For such goods there is some rivalry between consumers, so that they differ from public goods. Here the collective-action problem (in short CAP) is not under-production (free riding), but over-consumption of the good. Incidentally, E. Ostrom has yet applied IAD several times to public goods12.

It is worth mentioning that IAD really has the ambition to predict the actions and outcomes in the action arena13. Therefore the word development has been included in the term IAD. Your columnist expects, that IAD can never include all social complexity. Naturally IAD can be used for justifying suggestions for policies. Then the chance of a good advice is yet largest in simple and transparent action arena's. Probably for this reason, Elinor Ostrom has focused her studies mainly on the Third World. Nevertheless, also in game theory the ambition to plan outcomes increases, notably in the social mechanism design14. This has been applied with some success in the development of auctions for renting parts of the electro-magnetic spectrum.

Actor-centred institutionalism

The Gazette has discussed actor-centred institutionalism (in short ACI) in many columns. The policy analyst O. Treib, who has translated Games real actors play in German, has made some remarks, which deserve mentioning15. He states that ACI has originally been developed in order to study self-organizing, incidentally just like IAD. Policy results from the interaction of actors. Sometimes it unfolds in the shadow of a powerful hierarchy, such as the state16. This has the advantage, that a deadlock is less likely. The ACI applications of Scharpf emphasize the motive of personal interest, and pay little atttention to the shared morals. ACI is bad in making predictions, and is mainly used for the description and analysis of policies in retrospect. Game theory is used as a universal language for policy analysts17.

The sociologist U. Schimank notes that ACI does not explicitly pay attention to important social processes, such as differentiation, individualization and rationalization18. Incidentally, this remark also holds for IAD. Such processes unfold in the long run, whereas ACI mainly addresses the short-term dynamics in the constellation19. The idea, that actors can determine their own fate, originates from the Enlightenment20. But institutions are yet necessary in order to make behaviour somewhat predictable. Then actors can develop rational expectations.

Actor models

Each theory requires an image of man. Your columnist is still impressed by the actor model of Binmore. In this view man is an enlightened egoist, who gives the highest priority to spreading his genetic material. He is a true altruist for his immediate family. But towards others he defends his own interest. Here he takes into account the relations of power, by means of empathy. This is to say, the actor disposes of the capability to be emphatic, so that the behaviour of others becomes somewhat predictable. He trains his innate capability to feel empathy within the family, and by means of self-reflection can also apply it to outsiders. The distinction between altruism and empathy reminds of the mechanic and organic solidarity of Durkheim. Unfortunately the model of Binmore is not yet mainstream. The table 1 presents the nowadays most popular actor models.

Table 1: actor models
individualhomo economicushomo politicus
collectivehomo sociologicushomo sociologicus

The actor can guide his actions by his goals or morals. And he can have an individual or collective attitude. An actor with an individual orientation acts autonomously. An actor with a collective orientation only accepts reciprocity. He acts just like his environment, and expects this orientation also of others. His behaviour is mechanistic and deterministic. Therefore his behaviour is predictable, but also dismally primitive. Sociology often uses the model of the homo sociologicus, because it wants to explain collective behaviour, at the meso- or macro-level. In the political science communitarianism cherishes this image of man. The reciprocity can refer to the purposive individual behaviour, but also to norms and values. Homo sociologicus in its most primitive form simply obeys collective morals21.

A problem of the homo sociologicus is, that this actor model actually does not explain cooperation. The motive for mechanistic behaviour is unclear. The model assumes the inclination to cooperate as an empirical fact. Moreover, the social institutions do no assume that an actor is a robot, but someone with personal responsibilities22. The homo politicus cherishes his own moral identity. This can deviate significantly from his environment. This model also fails to give much insight in the motives of the actor.

The actor model of the homo economicus, finally, is more attractive, because it can predict behaviour, as soon as the interests of the actor are known. The actor maximizes his utility. Usually a complex model of the homo economicus is applied, where the actor takes into account various costs, for information, contracts, exploring alternatives, and the like. Then the prediction of choices also becomes complex. Besides, it is usually assumed, that the judgement of the actor is subjective, and not objective, precisely due to the complexity. When probabilities of events are estimated subjectively, and possibly inaccurately, then behaviour is no longer entirely rational.


The actor model of the homo economicus allows to study the motives for cooperation. It becomes rapidly clear, that in many situations the personal interest requires cooperation. These are especially situations, where the mutual transactions are repetitive. Then the homines economici must coordinate their behaviour, because none of them wants to be exploited by the other(s). A number of methods have been discovered, notably in game theory, which lead to the coordination and orchestration of actions.

The most important path towards coordination is establishing an individual reputation. The actor signals by his repetitive trustworthy behaviour to the other actors, that he has no inclination to exploit. He resembles the stereotype of the trustworthy actor, because this serves his personal interest in the long run. The other actors trust him on rational grounds. Game theory models this with the caricature of the tit-for-tat strategy. Besides, this strategy illustrates an alternative manner of coordination, namely the sanction. Cooperation pays, because a profitable interaction can be repeated. So the most important sanction is ending the interaction! Each actor must take into account this threat. Sanctions are even more powerful in groups, because third parties can also punish exploitation. But since a third party, who intervenes with punishments, incurs some costs, this is not always in his own interest.

Furthermore, cooperation is possible when all involved actors let their behaviour be guided by an external signal. Consider for instance an external expert, who publicly makes recommendations for certain market transactions. Game theory calls this a correlated equilibrium. Both the punishment and the external signal can have the form of an institution. Institutional limitations of behaviour can aim at goals or at morals. Sometimes the distinction is vague, because for instance an actor can value sound procedures. Institutions, heuristics and routines can reduce the transaction costs. This explains among others, why sometimes the hierarchy is preferred above the market. There the exchange is less beneficial than rules. Sometimes coordination is possible by means of a focal point. Them the logic of the situatie dictates a certain behaviour23.

Photo of poster NVV
Figure 2: Poster NVV

Apparently a homo economicus yet often succeeds in coordinating actions. Sometimes a group wil engage in a transaction, and here accept some exploitation by outsiders. This happens for instance in the production of a public good. The number of alternatives for transactions evidently increases strongly, when the negatively affected actors are compensated for possible damage. And in a society with a mix of actor types the homines economici can be coerced into cooperation by the homines sociologici and homines politici. And perhaps the most important institution is the constitution, which can dictate the mutual cooperation as a social contract. The constitution is formulated behind the veil of ignorance, where the collective and the personal interest coincide.

Note that the boundary between the individual and collective orientation of actors is fluid. For instance, the stereotype actually refers to a group. Thus a certain professional group as a whole can acquire a certain reputation. In principle the homo economicus can base his decisions on such a stereotype. Then he rationally estimates the probability, that a member of the professional group resembles the stereotype24. But such a judgement can rapidly become subjective. In the same way the actor model of the homo sociologicus can be used. He bases his decisions simply on the norm, that the whole professional group resembles the stereotype. Infringements on the norm are punished.

Apparently there is some ambiguity in the actor models, which reminds of the model of social exchange, invented by the sociologist J.S. Coleman. This allows the exchange of concrete outcomes (such as goods) and symbolic outcomes (such as status). The value of status is subjective, and perhaps emotional. Such an exchange is not along the lines of the homo economicus. Cooperation can be bought. The same can be said about the dedication of actors to their group, which according to the economist P. Frijters is based on a complex psychic exchange. The dedication is caused by de-individuation, which undermines the personal preferences. Such a process reduces the homo economicus to a fragile being25. These models illustrate, that the actor model of the homo economicus is not applicable in all circumstances.

Actor-institution analysis and differentiation

Already years ago a column studied the group behaviour from an individual (pychological) and collective (sociological) perspective. Individual actions cause a dynamics, which can change the collective order. This is particularly true for the economy. Moreover, the economic system creates its own sphere within society. But not only the economy isolates itself. A previous column presented a model of the sociologist H. Ganßmann, who builds on the theory of K. Polanyi. Here the economy, the state and society coexist. Already several decades before, Weber had identified many sub-systems in society. Each sub-system has its own function, and its own logic (norms and values)26. This is called a system-differentiation. The notion, that such sub-systems exist, even stimulated the idea of planning, which since years has attracted attention in the Gazette.

Incidentally, differentiation is not limited to sub-systems. Durkheim elaborated on the differentiation of roles, which people assume in society27. The most well-known example is evidently the division of labour. All these forms of differentiation are related to the rise of modernism. This process is dynamical and progressing. At the same time religion loses its function as shared and uniting morals, both between systems and between roles. Sociologists such as Marx, Durkheim and Polanyi were afraid, that as a result of differentiation society would disintegrate (alientation, anomie). Obviously, the institutional analysis (ACI, IAD) is also aware of differentiation, and takes into account institutions. But here it is rather hidden, and merely present implicitly, for instance in the configuration of IAD. The present paragraph wants to clarify differentiation by means of the actor-institution frame.

The systems theory of Parsons

The explanation is fairly simple for the differentiation of roles. For, in the IAD the action situation is determined by the positions P. So here differentiation is realized by means of the allocation of positions to actors. Furthermore, both ACI and IAD allow for the nesting of constellations, for instance in various levels of regulation. This implies, that a constellation can often be divided in sub-systems. But this is not really a theory of systems differentiation. After the Second Worldwar the Americans sociologist Talcott Parsons has developed a profound and complicated systems theory28. It is worthwhile to investigate, what it implies for the actor-institution analysis. According to Parsons differentiation means, that wherever possible a task or function is executed within its own sub-system. This increases the productivity of the execution of tasks. In this manner the social performance is improved29.

For this reason the systems theory of Parsons is also called structural-functionalism. The theory is deductive30. This is to say, it consists of assumptions and hypotheses. Each system has an input of resources, and an output. When the production is continuous, then according to cybernetics the output can be measured, and subsequently the measured value is put in the system itself (feedback). When the measured output is not satisfactory, then the system can adjust its internal production towards a better result. Thus according to Parsons each (sub-)system has at least the task to determine a target value (G, of goal), and to adjust the production, when necessary (A). Besides, the system must dispose of an internal order. There are rules, which must guarantee the integration of the system components (I). And the system must have an internal latent culture or morals, which gives meaning to its own existence (L).

This is called the AGIL scheme31. Each of the four tasks is functional for the concerned system. For instance, society can be interpreted as a system. Then the four systems are the economy (A), politics (G), the administration (I), and the moral formation (L)32. In the terminology of Parsons L is equated to culture. Next each of the four sub-systems can again be divided in sub-systems. Consider for instance the economic system. There A is the capital market, G is the commodity market, I is the entrepreneur, and L is the morals of markets33. Parsons does not precisely explain, how the sub-systems form. But since differentiation leads to a better performance, it is suspected that it is an evolutionary process. Successful systems are imitated by others. On the other hand, politics could purposively organize differentiation. Then it must carefully reflect on the possible side-effects34.

Scheme van systems feedback
Figure 3: Systems feedback

Now consider again the cybernetics of the system. There is a certain hierarchy among the various sub-systems35. The culture (L) forms the highest layer in society. Parsons even calls himself a believer in cultural determinism! Here the informal institutions and rules are established. They are used to derive the formal rules, which are propagated by the administration (I). These rules are not only formulated by the state, but also by various social organizations. They change only slowly. At a lower level the policy goals are formulated (G), as far as the rules permit this. Finally, in the lowest layer the system is adapted in such a way, that the goals can be realized. Apparently the AGIL scheme is part of the feedback loop of the system. This is shown schematically in the figure 3.

The figure 3 shows, that there is a hierarchical interaction between the sub-systems. But the systems theory of Parsons acknowledges, that the interactions between two sub-systems is reciprocal (like, incidentally, in each hierarchy). This is called the double interchange36. The interaction between the sub-systems only has the aim to guarantee, that the total system remains in equilibrium. Some integration of the sub-systems is indispensable. Apart from this necessary interaction the functionality implies, that the sub-systems are autonomous. Parsons states that the most important means of interaction are money, power, influence and morals37. Since the social differentiation leads to a better performance, it is an indispensable part of progress. Parsons calls it a universality38. This also illustrates that Parsons has an optimistic belief in progress.

It is interesting, that according to systems theory the society converges to an equilibrium. Following this description of systems theory, now the implications for ACI and IAD can be studied. Systems theory is very relevant for the action configuration, namely the rules, the culture and the material circumstances. Systems theory emphasizes the dynamics of the configuration. The aim to improve the performance implies a progressing differentiation of the configuration. This evolutionary process is obscured in ACI and IAD. There the systems are part of the institutions, which can apparently differentiate themselves. An analyst must take this into account. Furthermore, systems theory underlines, that decisions are not made in a linear process, but as loop. Note that the policy cycle is indeed a system with feedback.

In ACI and IAD the constellation or action arena models the interactions between the actors. These interactions are excluded from systems theory. The absence of the action situation in the systems theory of Parsons implies, that the social motives are naturally moral, so that at least at the macro level the personal interest is unimportant39. Incidentally, Parsons invented already before his systems theory the theory of individual actions(unit act), which do hold at the micro level. The unit act is a scheme of actions. Each action is based on the morals (L) and goals (G) of the actor, as well as on the situation40. Here the clear assumption is made, that the behaviour of the actor is determined by culture. In this sense Parsons appreciates communitarianism. But yet Parsons also takes into account the specific situation.

On the other hand, ACI and IAD are more than a systems theory. Not all constellations or action arena's are systems. Sometimes they support the double interaction between the various sub-systems41. The action situation can simply be a network. Furthermore actors can start a differentiation, which is in their own interest, but not in the general interest42. This undermines the vitality of the system, but this becomes clear only in the long term. Parsons believes, that the increasing dependency due to functional differentiation leads to a natural incentive to integrate43. Incidentally, since 1966 and the rise of the New Left the systems theory of Parsons has become controversial. Analytically a number of paradoxes are observed in this theory44. Your columnist still believes that systems theory is usable, although the criticism must be taken to heart.

The systems theory of Luhmann

The optimism in the systems theory of Parsons fits poorly with the social problems of the sixties and seventies. The western societies increasingly became confused. An important negative factor was the Vietnam war, which discredited the North-American government45. The enormous costs of the war, and subsequently the oil-crises, caused economic recessions, which shook the belief in progress. But shortly after Parsons, the German sociologist N. Luhmann developed a systems theory, which was better adapted to the pessimistic spirit of the time. Whereas Parsons explains the differentiation with the need for functionality, Luhmann sees the cause in social pluralism. The hallmark and reason of existence of a sub-system are its culture and internal morals. In other words, the normative expectations of actors are bound by their system46.

According to Luhmann the (sub)-systems are primarily dedicated to their own survival. Notably, a system wants to maintain its own logic, inner will or morals. The crux is not the division of labour, as claimed by Parsons. The system must naturally adapt to external influences, but the goal is the continuation or spread of the system's morals. There is self-reference and self-construction, which is called autopoiesis by Luhmann. Each system has a single dominant value, the so-called binary code47. Luhmann supports his theory with the group theory of social psychology. He notably refers to the phenomenon of attribution48. Since each system has its own binary code, the world is explained with different perspectives. There is no absolute truth49.

Contrary to Parsons, Luhmann denies the existence of an all (sub-)systems encompassing society. He calls this differentiated society poly-contextural50. There is no meta-constitution, as is assumed by the IAD51. Luhmann clearly is a communitarian. The absence of truth has the surprising consequence, that in itself an action is devoid of meaning. It can not be justified on objective grounds. The action can only obtain meaning, when it is translated subjectively in an interpretation. It must be placed in a certain perspective52.

Luhmann tries to find the origin of differentiation, and therefore of systems, in the social evolution, just like Parsons. The sub-systems are mainly needed for reducing the internal complexity, and thus give the actors something to go on53. However, the evolution occurs in the systems themselves. This is different with Parsons, who expects integration as a result of culture. The evolution is naturally path-dependent, but the development of society as a whole is still unpredictable. At the macro level the equilibrium is absent. The differentiation does increase continuously, notably because the adaptation to the external influences dictates this.

The closeness of the systems in the theory of Luhmann is a scenario of doom, which has elicited criticism. For, empirically it turns out that societies develop in a fairly harmonious manner. There is no continuously threatening disintegration. Luhmann tries to explain the stable path of development by an increasing material scarcity54. It at least forces the system to accept efficiency as an additional value, besides the binary code. Moreover, due to scarcity the systems are incited to engage in self-reflection, and therefor to exhibit some empathy for other systems.

Luhmann definitely denies, that the political system is capable of controlling the other systems. His idea is an abstraction, which is controversial. For instance, the policy analyst F. Scharpf states, that systems function in the shadow of the powerful state55. This controversy can also be formulated in the following way. Many policy analysts believe, that the social order is a public good is. According to Luhmann this good can not be established. The social system as a whole remains sub-optimal. The sub-systems themselves are ordered, and benefit from this. But the order in a sub-system creates damaging external effects for the other sub-systems.

Your columnist sees a clear difference between the systems theories of Parsons and Luhmann. The theory of Parsons is deductive. For centuries it turns out that empirically the division of labour advances. Sub-systems emerge in order to improve the productivity. So here the order of a sub-system is also a public good. Thus the argument of Parsons assumes an instrumental rationality. The advantage is, that the theory allows to make an objective analysis, because production can be measured. Unfortunately there are sometimes external factors (wars, economic crises, pandemies), which undermine the assumption of a rising productivity. The theory is poor for such periods.

The theory of Luhmann is inductive, and relatively independent of external factors. Sub-systems emerge due to the disappearance of all-encompassing morals, which results in pluralism. The argument of Luhmann is based on value rationality. It is related to institutionalism. But the disintegration of society can not be observed. The assumption, that the systems logic (inner will) determines the internal activities, naturally has important consequences for the actor-institution analysis (ACI, IAD). For instance, the enforcement of rules by a third party is hardly an option. Your columnist believes that the assumption of closed systems is a dubious abstraction. Perhaps the theory of Parsons yet deserves a second chance in the present time of globalization, which is characterized by strong regional growth of the economy.

The advocacy coalitions of Sabatier

The policy analyst P.A. Sabatier presents a systems theory, which combines the IAD and the theory of Luhmann. He calls it the advocacy coalition framework (in short ACF)56. The ACF is only applicable to specific constellations, namely the action arena's, which must formulate policies within sectors. It provides the policy analyst with a frame of thought. Just like Luhman, Sabatier bases his actor model on group theory. A groups disposes of a moral core of fundamental convictions and expectations (deep core beliefs, or in the words of Luhmann: an inner will). In the ACF the groups have mutual biases, and these even result in demonizing each other (devil shift)57. So the actors are boundedly rational. Contrary to Luhmann's view, these expectations are not universal for the sub-system. For, within the system coalitions form, each with its own expectations.

The expectations of the group concern the whole social life. The sub-system is just a part of life. The concrete details of the expectations of the group within the sub-system are called the policy core beliefs. The coalition in the sub-system consists of groups with common policy morals. Although Sabatier acknowledges, that motives are mixed, apparently the groups do not primarily seek personal advantages (instrumental rationality)58. The policy morals of a coalition are very stable. Usually the sub-system is dominated by a single coalition, so that the sub-system indeed has a stable will. Change occurs mainly in the policy instruments, which are called by Sabatier the secondary aspects.

Scheme of advocacy coalition framework
Figure 4: Scheme of advocacy coalition framework

The sub-system describes in essence the policy cycle. Therefore it has a strong resemblance with the scheme of the IAD and ACI. This is illustrated in the figure 4 59. The ACF includes mediators in the constellation, besides coalitions. In the figure 4 the decision about the policy morals is followed by the policy formulation concerning the secondary aspects. The execution of the policies is followed by a feedback to the system. The ACF sees the feedback mainly as a learning process. However, later the possibility of renegotiations is also added to the scheme. Nevertheless, the sub-system itself is very stable and conservative. Possible changes must come from external incentives (just like Luhmann argues). The interaction of the policy cycle with the environment (other sectors, the state, etcetera) is now well known from the ACI and IAD.

The ACF distinguishes between two factors in the external influences, a stable and variable one. The (relatively) stable external factor consists of the institutions, culture, and the physical environment. The institutions limit the options of the actors in the sub-system60. For instance, in European corporatism there is a lot of bargaining. And in the pluralism of American federalism often log-rolling is used. The variable external factor includes changes in other sectors and in politics, as well as putting problems on the agenda by the news media. This factor determines the quantity of means, which the actors in the sub-system receive. The external changes are evidently restricted by the constant external factor. Besides, the sub-system itself somewhat affects the variable external factor (again a feedback, but now external).

The ACF calls changes due to the environment an external shock. Internal learning can also occur as a shock. Then the policy morals of the dominant coalition are undermined. Sometimes it is not simple to identify the policy morals of a group. The ACF hopes, that in the future the social network analysis (SNA) can remedy this. In addition to the presented frame of thought the ACF also has a number of empirical (deductive) hypotheses with regard to coalitions, policy changes, and policy learning. It concerns statements such as: "Problems for which accepted quantitative data and theories exist are more conducive to policy-oriented learning across belief systems". Your columnist can not judge the analytical value of the hypotheses. Their value must be proved in practical applications.

The paradigm of the advocacy coalitions has several disadvantages, which limit its applicability. Although the ACF allows for mixed motives of the groups, it yet strongly emphasizes the value rationality, at least in the consulted sources. This neglects the effects of strategic actions. The strong motive of opportunistic rent seeking is not included in the analysis. But without rent seeking rational actors have little incentive to join their preferred coalition, because of the costs. They prefer free riding61. Furthermore, note that Sabatier adheres to positivism62. An absolute truth exists. However, his frame of analysis corresponds to the frame of Luhmann, which is based on post-positivism. Therefore the ACF makes an ambiguous impression.

It is interesting to compare the ACF with the IAD. The IAD is universally applicable, namely in each action arena. It takes into account the preferences of the actors, but these mainly refer to performance and the material interests. On the other hand, in the ACF the preference is dictated by morals, and this even endogenously stimulates the formation of coalitions. Thus the inner stability of the sub-system is actually assured, and requires no attention. Then change is external. The IAD has once been designed in order to analyze self-organization, whereas the ACF is more oriented towards hierarchical policy networks. To be honest, your columnist finds it difficult to see the added value of the ACF in comparison with the IAD63.

Political management of systems

Systems theories assume that a system is capable of controlling its own performances (output or outcome). It is no coincidence, that the systems theories prosper in the period after the Second Worldwar, when there was a strong reliance on social planning64. The planning approach already started in the interbellum, as a reaction to the Great Depression since 1929. At the time the sociologist Karl Mannheim provided for an analytical basis65. Planning is modeled by means of cybernetics. The experiences with large-scale planning are disappointing, also in the public administration. Therefore after 1980 there is a renewed interest in actor-centred models (AGI, IAO)66. Luhmann rejects this approach. For, according to him the actors are embedded in their own system, and can not act or bargain freely. Notably, the political system can not steer, due to the social poly-contextuality.

The German sociologist H. Willke believes, that corporative actors do make mutual compromises, also beyond their own system67. Thus for instance the political system can establish institutions, which regulate the self-organization of other systems. The state checks, that the systems serve the general interest. This is also the view, which is propagated by the new public management (in short NPM). The sub-systems engage in contracted performances. Due to the personal responsibility the execution can become efficient. A more radical view is the idea of network management, where the state is merely a partner within the network. The sub-systems legitimize themselves68. However, then the transparency is minimal. This evidently excluded the civilians as voters. Besides, such systems can not realize integration and central coordination. This is undesirable69.

Antiquated: systems theory in Leninism

Your columnist has acquired a collection of socialist literature, dating from say 1900 until the present, which together fill several bookcases. During the early years of the Gazette these books were an important source of information for writing columns. At the time your columnist believed, that the present society can only be explained objectively, when the actual situation is viewed in a historical perspective. In retrospect this opinion was perhaps based on an unwarranted suspicion towards the modern science. For, old ideas naturally live on in the present literature, at least, as long as they are sound. Therefore in the past years your columnist began to consult more recent books. But, nostalgic feelings can never completely be given up. Therefore this paragraph yet describes several ideas about the systems theory from a historical source.

Already 15 years ago your columnist read the voluminous book Marxistische Philosophie, which in the party schools of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik were used as textbooks of the Marxist-Leninist philosophy70. The systems concept is universal, and a philosophical category (p.218). The system consists of elements, and their mutual relations (218). For instance, the historical materialism defines the society as a system, which includes the classes as its elements (219,222). The element itself can again be a system (219). Therefore there is a hierarchy of systems (223). The relations between the elements define the structure of the system (220). For this reason marxism studies the social class structure (228) According to the dialectical materialism all systems are dynamic (219). The elements interact with each other and with their environment (219).

Moreover each system has a function (220). When various systems have the same function, than in the evolution the system with the most effective structure will persevere (221). Even capitalism succeeds in moderating the economic crises (221). In principle any system is open, with an input and output (225). However, sometimes the environment hardly affects the system, and then the closed system is a good approximation (225). See the dynamic growth model of Marx. The choice of the system boundary is usually somewhat arbitrary (226). The same holds for the environment, which interacts actively with the system (226). For instance, the climate is not included in the environment of the labour class as a system (226). A system with internal feedbacks is a control system (227). When the control system compensates for disturbances, then it seems to pursue a goal (227). When the system always reacts effectively, then it is learning (227).

The essence of the capitalist system is determined by its invariant properties (374). An example of an invariant is the contrariety of the private property and social labour (374). The essence of the system is its quality (375). In addition, the system is characterized by the number of elements, so by quantitites (377). But these elements naturally have their own quality (378). However, when the quantities in the system change too much, then its quality will also change (379). For instance, the socialist system has another quality of productive relations than the capitalist system (379). The productivity, the satisfaction and the culture are qualitatively better in socialism (379). This can be shown empirically by for instance measuring the production (380).

Moreover capitalism is not stable (382). The control mechanism of the system does not succeed in compensating the quantitative changes by means of feedback (381). The concentration of private property increases the social contrarieties, so that in the end the society becomes revolutionary (382). The system quality changes into socialism, and destroys the capitalist system (412). Necessity and coincidence interact in a dialectical manner (410). Therefore this is called a dialectical jump (383)71.

  1. See p.29 in Rules, games, and common-pool resources (2006, The University of Michigan Press) by E. Ostrom, R. Gardner and J. Walker: Participants in Positions who must decide among diverse Actions in light of the Information they possess about how actions are Linked to potential Outcomes and the Costs and Benefits assigned to actions and outcomes. (back)
  2. Apparently the Ostrom couple only later got the idea to interpret the aggregation as a form of control. Your columnist had to consult Choice, rules and collective action (2014, the ECPR Press) by E. and V. Ostrom for this. On p.76 it says: "Aggregation rules affect the level of control that a participant in a position exercises in the selection of an action at a node". (back)
  3. See p.31 in Rules, games, and common-pool resources. It concerns "functions that map participants at decision nodes into intermediate or final outcomes". According to the authors these functions are comparable to the production functions in economics. (back)
  4. See p.76 in Choice, rules and collective action. The explanation must be read carefuly. It says: "Authority rules (...) determine (...) the action-outcome linkages". This must not be confused with aggregation. Namely, elsewhere in the text it turns out, that this sentence refers to the individual choice of an actor for a certain action. The mentioned action-outcome connection does not refer to the collective choice. (back)
  5. See p.180 in Choice, rules and collective action. (back)
  6. See p.296 in Collective action and exchange (2013, Stanford University Press) by W.D. Ferguson. (back)
  7. On p.42 in Rules, games, and common-pool resources it is stated: "Aggregation rules specify the transformation function to be used at a particular node, to map actions into intermediate or final outcomes". The collective choice dictates the application of a certain transformation function, in a certain node of the decision tree. The tree itself has been defined previously, by the actions of the actors, restricted by the rules of authority. Clarifying here is a remark in the article Structuring participatory governance through particular rules in use by the policy analysts P.J. Klok and B. Denters, which has been discussed in a previous column. On p.4 it is stated: [Assume that] "the aggregation rule specifies the right for one specific position holder (for instance, the boss, or the president) to take the decision (and define the outcome of the arena by that). This rule is an aggregation rule, but also meets the definition of a choice rule for that position". Apparently a partial coincidence of rules must be accepted. (back)
  8. See p.176 en 180 in Choice, rules and collective action. (back)
  9. Therefore power is not a part of the seven arena variables. The IAD connects power to the actor himself. The actor is characterized by four variables, namely his power (means), preferences, cognitive capabilities to process information, and his criteria for making choices. See p.33 and further in Rules, games, and common-pool resources. (back)
  10. The process can have its own utility, besides the realization of the goals. But the Ostrom couple is not quite clear here. According to p.42 in Rules, games, and common-pool resources, utility is based on the whole set of taken actions and realized outcomes. Ferguson believes on p.297 in Collective action and exchange, that immaterial rewards must be taken into account, like receiving collective admiration. It seems logical, that the fairness of the procedure also determines the utility. A previous column gives a schematic survey of all factors, which can affect the evaluation of utility. (back)
  11. See p.52 in Rules, games, and common-pool resources. For the case of the non-cooperative game with a 2×2 matrix the seven variables of the action arena are summed up on p.51-52. (back)
  12. On p.61-62 in Rules, games, and common-pool resources the maintenance of the common good (CPR) is interpreted as a public good. The decision about maintenance is modeled as a non-cooperative game. (back)
  13. See p.36 in Rules, games, and common-pool resources. (back)
  14. See chapter 7 in Game theory and public policy (2010, Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd) by R.A. McCain. The game theoreticians Myerson, Maskin and Hurwicz even have received the Nobel price for their contribution to mechanism design. (back)
  15. See p.277-304 in Handbuch Policy-Forschung (2015, Springer Fachmedien), edited by G. Wenzelburger and R. Zohlnhöffer. (back)
  16. See p.290 and 294 in Handbuch Policy-Forschung. (back)
  17. So the claim of practical applicability of the ACI is less convincing than the claim of AID. The ACI of Scharpf mainly focuses on the formal deduction, and such analyses are at the moment highly speculative. Nonetheless in 2003 Scharpf did get nominated as an expert in a German commission, which had to make proposals about reforms of the German federation. (back)
  18. See p.218-220 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung (2007, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften) by U. Schimank. (back)
  19. See p.223 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. (back)
  20. See p.187 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. (back)
  21. On p.46 in Rational-Choice-Theorie (2011, Juventa Verlag) by N. Braun and T. Gautschi two versions of the homo sociologicus are mentioned, namely the socialized role-playing sanctioned man (SRSM) and the opinionated sensitive acting man (OSAM). The subtle difference is that the SRSM automatically obeys collective norms, wheres the OSAM copies opinions from his environment. Apparently the OSAM imitates behaviour. This book does not primarily define the homo sociologicus by means of his reciprocity, like your columnist does. (back)
  22. See p.46 and 49 in Rational-Choice-Theorie. The book also mentions many other actor models. Your columnist believes that three actor models are more than sufficient. (back)
  23. On p.360-361 in The limits of public choice (1996, Routledge) by L. Udehn it is concluded, that the focal point assumes a shared mental model, which is not purely rational. Then the homo economicus must be socially formed. (back)
  24. On p.159-160 in Game theory and public policy such a behaviour is indeed called completely rational. On p.140-142 in Rational-Choice-Theorie the decision based on stereotypes is linked to rational learning. This uses the rule of Bayes in statistical theory. It states: Pr(A | B) = Pr(B | A) × Pr(A) / Pr(B). Here Pr(A) is the probability of event A, and Pr(A | B) is the probability of event A, under the condition that event B also occurs. For instance: an unknown actor j requests a bank to grant a credit. The bank only knows the stereotype B of the actor j. Let A correspond to the probability of non-payment by an arbitrary actor. Then P(A | B) is the probability of non-payment by j. According as j more often requests a credit, the bank gathers experiences with his reliability. Then B is no longer merely a stereotype, but also the history of defaulting by the actor j. Thus the bank learns, and P(A | B) becomes more and more reliable. The same problem occurs in the application of an insurance policy. In such cases there is the danger of an adverse selection. Actors in the financial services make a large effort to accurately judge the situation. (back)
  25. On p.43 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung Schimank states, that in modernism the unconditional dedication to the group is generally rejected. This is essentially true. The unconditional dedication (love) could be interpreted as a remnant of the past. This certainly implies, that Frijters must elaborate on his advocacy of love as the foundation of present-day cooperation. (back)
  26. See p.55 and further in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. Thus in economics the value of profit dominates, in politics the value of power, in science the value of truth, in art the value of beauty, etcetera. (back)
  27. See p.38 and further in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. On p.42 and further the ideas of the sociologist Georg Simmel about differentiation are explained. For the ideas of Durkheim also see p.57-60 in the instructive book Économie et sociologie (2004, Presses Universitaires de France) by F. Cusin and D. Benamouzig. On p.65-69 the theory of Polanyi is described. (back)
  28. The systems theory of Parsons is described in chapter 3 of Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. More succinct is p.70-76 in Économie et sociologie. (back)
  29. See p.114 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. This is an assumption of the systems theory, which indeed seems credible. But p.215 states, that according to the neo-functionalists the differentiation is sometimes caused by a power struggle between interest groups. Then the aim is the group interest, and not the social efficiency. (back)
  30. It is difficult to define the concept deductive accurately. On p.27 in Rational-Choice-Theorie it is stated: "Bei dem [Ideal der deduktiv-nomologischen Erklärungssytematik von Carl Hempel und Paul Oppenheim] wird der zu erklärenden Sachverhalt (Explanandum) aus einer wahren Prämissenmenge (Explanans) logisch abgeleitet". On p.605 of Marxistische Philosophie (1967, Dietz Verlag) edited by A. Kosing it says: "Das deduktive Folgern besteht darin, daß von einer bestimmten, bereits als wahr erwiesenen oder für wahr gehaltenen Aussage andere Aussagen nach den Ableitungsregeln der Logik gewonnen werden". (back)
  31. See p.86-87 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung, p.71-72 in Économie et sociologie, or more succinctly p.148 in Économie, sociologie et histoire du monde contemporain (2013, Armand Colin) edited by A. Beitone. (back)
  32. See p.89-90 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. Schimank links I to the community. The task of I is to solve possible conflicts between groups. Therefore the legal system (including the jurisdiction) an essential part of I. Apparently I mainly implies regulation, so that your columnist links it to the administration. The task of L is the moral formation, and therefore includes the families and education. Thanks to L there is a formation of individuals. According to p.359 in The limits of public choice Parsons wants to mark out the domains of economics, political science and sociology by means of the division in four sub-systems. Economics studies the A-system, political science and policy analysis study the G-system, and sociology studies the I- and L-system. The social and moral integration are pre-eminently sociological themes. Apparently in this division of tasks the science of public administration is included in the (political) sociology. (back)
  33. See p.72 in Économie et sociologie. (back)
  34. This is noted on p.109-110 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. Parsons simply tries to find the sub-systems, which have the largest chance to survive. Also p.73 in Économie et sociologie points to the assumption of evolution in the systems theory. (back)
  35. See p.103-104 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. (back)
  36. See p.95 and further in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. (back)
  37. See p.101 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. This is logical, because these four means are essential for respectively the A-, G-, I- and L-system. See also p.72 in Économie et sociologie. (back)
  38. See p.111-117 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. Adaptation, technology, inclusion, and universal morals (constitution) are other possible evolutionary universalities (p.113). On p.30 in Paradoxen van modernisering (1993, Dick Coutinho) by H. van der Loo and W. van Reijen the cultural evolution is called a rationalization. Your columnist read this latter book already 26 years ago for the first time. (back)
  39. Your columnist found this nice remark on p.84 of Économie, sociologie et histoire du monde contemporain. (back)
  40. According to p.23-27 in Market and community (2000, The Pennsylvania State University Press) by M.L. Lichbach and A. Seligman, Parsons states that the preferences of an actor are determined by the culture and collective morals. This book inspired your columnist to study the ideas of Parsons, but itself does not elaborate on it. It is mainly concerned with the tension between rationality and cultural morals. Incidentally, this is done in a more sound way than in The limits of public choice. Udehn tries to separate economics and sociology, and this does not help to gain insight. See for the unit act also p.76 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. Parsons believes, that the collective morals are indispensable for the cohesion in society. On p.29 in Paradoxen van modernisering the unit act is described, without explicitly using this term. Perhaps the authors omit this, because they adapt the phenomenon of the unit act. They divide the situation in the social structure and the physical nature. (back)
  41. See p.221 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. (back)
  42. See p.228 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. (back)
  43. See p.100 and 119 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. Parsons developed his systems theory during the fifties of the last century, when the western society was indeed quite stable. After the Great Depression and the Second Worldwar there was a desire for harmony. Besides the systems conflict against Leninism stimulated the cohesion. (back)
  44. According to p.119 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung differentiation is accompanied by an increasing scale. And the rationalization of the culture requires a larger intellectual effort to find the meaning of life. Due to individualization morals are fragmented, so that the social cohesion declines. According to paragraph 5.3 notably the neo-functionalists try to reveal the paradoxes in systems theory. See also p.35-38 in Paradoxen van modernisering. This book even stresses the problem in its title. (back)
  45. The cruel Leninist regime in North-Vietnam used its soldiers as cannon-fodder in order to conquer South-Vietnam. Approximately 10 of its soldiers died for each killed American soldier. The North-Vietnamese population accepted this meekly because of the political terror and unlimited indoctrination. It is a sign of noblemindedness, that the Americans formed a military alliance with the South-Vietnamese army. But over the years the number of casualties on the American side increased to such an extent, that the American people no longer wanted to carry this burden. Besides, in the post-colonial era foreign interventions were met with criticism. Even in Europe there were demonstrations against the American fight for freedom. Those who want more information can buy the DVD-box The Vietnam war by K. Burns and L. Novick. (back)
  46. See p.125 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. The linkage of systems and the personal morals suggests, that it are actually institutions. See p.127. But on p.183 Schimank yet states, that Luhmann does not study institutions. This view is a bit strange. (back)
  47. See p.141 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung, p.181-182 in Handbuch Governance (2007, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften) edited by A. Benz, S. Lütz, U. Schimank and G. Simonis, or p.78 in Économie et sociologie. The code is called binary, because there are merely two options: accept, or reject. Here it again concerns the value sphere of Weber, for instance property in the economy, or power in politics. Luhmann gradually develops his theory during the sixties and seventies, so that he regularly adds new elements. (back)
  48. See p.134 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. (back)
  49. See p.146 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung, p.182 in Handbuch Governance, or p.81 in Économie et sociologie. This is called post-positivism. (back)
  50. See p.162 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung, or p.182 in Handbuch Governance. (back)
  51. See p.167 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. This is a bit strange. For, at least each state has its own constitution. (back)
  52. See p.146 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung or p.181 in Handbuch Governance. (back)
  53. See p.126-127 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung, or p.78 in Économie et sociologie. (back)
  54. See p.175 and further in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung. (back)
  55. See p.182 in Handbuch Governance or p.81 in Économie et sociologie for the political lack of power according to Luhmann. On p.186 in the first book Lange comments: "Gerade bei Verhandlungen über Zielvereinbarungen mit Organisationen des staatsnahen Sektors zeigt sich, dass der Staat immer mehr als nur ein Primus inter Pares ist". The idea of the powerless state can also be found with the Rotterdam paradigm of network management. Yet the adherents of this paradigm rarely mention Luhmann. In fact Luhmann is only in Germany really leading. For instance the Dutch survey book Paradoxen van modernisering pays amply attention to differentiation, but Luhmann is not mentioned at all. (back)
  56. Your columnist consults for this paragraph mainly chapter 7 in Theories of the policy process (2007, Westview Press) by P.A. Sabatier, and p.307-324 in Handbuch Policy-Forschung, written by N.C. Bandelow. Sabatier nowhere refers to Luhmann in his text, but the resemblance is striking. (back)
  57. See p.194 in Theories of the policy process or p.311 in Handbuch Policy-Forschung. (back)
  58. See p.194 in Theories of the policy process. (back)
  59. The figure 4 is a free interpretation of the figure 7.2 on p.202 in Theories of the policy process and figure 3 on p.319 in Handbuch Policy-Forschung. (back)
  60. See p.191 and 201 in Theories of the policy process or p.313 and 319 in Handbuch Policy-Forschung. The stable external factor apparently corresponds to the configuration in the institutional analysis and development. It includes the I- and L-subsystems of the systems theory of Parsons. (back)
  61. See p.311 in Handbuch Policy-Forschung. (back)
  62. See p.321 in Handbuch Policy-Forschung. (back)
  63. But on p.297-298 in Handbuch Policy-Forschung O. Treib states, that at least the actor-centred institutionalism (ACI) is not very suited for modelling the power struggle within a sub-system. He writes: "Vermutlich [bietet] das analytische Instrumentarium des Advocacy Coalition Framework mehr erklärungskraft, da dieser genau auf solche quer zu Organisationsgrenzen verlaufenden Konflikt-linien ausgelegt ist". The reason is, that especially Scharpf focuses in the ACI on constellations, where the conflict is between sub-systems. Then each sub-systeem is homogenous. Yet the argument of Treib does not really convince. Both ACI and IAD can by applied within a sub-system without any problems. (back)
  64. The present paragraph is mainly based on chapter 2.2 in Handbuch Governance. The chapter is written by S. Lange (back)
  65. This is explained in detail on p.130-132 in Paradoxen van modernisering. Mannheim refers to the functional differentiation. He warns, that this is accompanied by decreasing social morals. But he rejects the idea of Luhmann (implicitly, because Mannheim was active during the interbellum), that the development of the social dis-integration is inevitable. He advocates substantial (value-)rationality, where social morals are determined in the political process. The intellectual elite is principally reasonable. This resembles what Gerhard Schröder calls the constitutional patriottism. (back)
  66. Schimank argues on p.183 in Theorien gesellschaftlicher Differenzierung, that the systems theory must be complemented with an actor-theory. A similar argument is on p.245-247 in L'acteur et le système (1977, Éditions du Seuil) by M. Crozier and E. Friedberg. For, the development is partly affected by strategic actions. Your columnist has not yet read this book. (back)
  67. See p.183 in Handbuch Governance. (back)
  68. See p.183 in Handbuch Governance. (back)
  69. On p.186 in Handbuch Governance Lange states: "Des Weiteren krankt das Konzept der Kontextsteuerung an einem Legitimitätsdefizit, dem sich das heutige Tagesgeschäft des politischen Gestaltungshandelns in verflochtenen Verhandlungsarenen und komplexen Governance-Konstellationen generell ausgesetzt sieht. (...) Die Politikformulierung wird in den Verhandlungssystemen der Governance-Netzwerke derartig vom Erlebenshorizont des Publikums der Politik entkoppelt, dass selbst Legitimitätsstiftung durch nachträgliche Akklamation und motivlose Akzeptanz entbehrlich erscheint". This is a harsh criticism. Unfortunately Lange does not explain, how the administration can be improved. (back)
  70. See Marxistische Philosophie (1967, Dietz Verlag) edited by A. Kosing. The consulted parts (see the page referrals in the main text) are written by W. Eichhorn I, G. Klaus and G. Kröber. As a narrative it was sufficiently convincing to persevere for half of a century. A profound study (and access to critical literature) is needed in order to be able to see the weaknesses. So even introductory textbooks can be unsound! And when an incredible story has entered the textbooks, it is extremely difficult to remove it. Your columnist has completely read this book of 730 pages. (back)
  71. This resembles the doom scenario of Luhmann, but it is more deterministic. The capitalist system will certainly collapse, although the precise date is unknown. Nowadays the theory of the jump is known in a more moderate version as the punctuated equilibrium theory. (back)