Since the 1970s, various sociological approaches have tried to understand and conceptualize "the global," yet few of them have systematically addressed the full spectrum of social relationships. Prominent exponents of the global approach - such as world systems analysis - instead have focused on particular domains such as politics or the economy. Under the label of "world society," however, some authors have suggested alternatives to the predominant equivocation of society and the nation-state. The contributions to this volume share that objective and take their point of departure from the two most ambitious projects of a theory of world society: world polity research and systems theory, mapping out the common ground and assessing their potential to inform empirical analyses of globalization.
1. Introduction: From Globalization to World Society Boris Holzer, Fatima Kastner and Tobias Werron Part I: Differentiation of World Society 2. Comparing Systems Theory and Sociological Neo-Institutionalism: Explaining Functional Differentiation Rudolf Stichweh 3. The Two Faces of World Society: Formal Structures and Institutionalized Informality Boris Holzer 4. Embedding Regional Integration in the Fabric of a Differentiated World Society and a Differentiated System of World Politics Mathias Albert and Stephan Stetter Part II: Global Fields in World Society 5. What Do Nation-States Compete For?: A World-Societal Perspective on Competition for "Soft" Global Goods Tobias Werron 6. The Inclusion of Victims and the Globalization of Criminal Law Thorsten Bonacker 7. The Globalization of Transitional Justice: On the Diffusion of Norms, Standards and Institutions of Post-Conflict Justice in World Society Fatima Kastner 8. Religious Differentiation and World-Culture: On the Complementary Relationship of Systems Theory and Neo-Institutionalism Martin Petzke 9. Technical Knowledge and Instrumental Activism Raf Vanderstraeten Part III: Organizations in World Society 10. Decoupling and Coupling in Education Raimund Hasse and Georg Krücken 11. University Rankings Between Organization and Society Sven Kette and Veronika Tacke 12. Heterogeneity in World Society: How Organizations Handle Contradicting Logics Cristina Besio and Uli Meyer 13. The Diffusion of Organizations: The Role of Foreign Aid Stefan Kühl 14. From International to World Organizations Martin Koch Part IV: Comments 15. Commentary: Toward Understanding World Society George M. Thomas 16. Commentary: Theories of World Society John W. Meyer