Is the study of living systems a useful metaphor for political science? In this book, Dr. Dobuzinskis argues for further exploration of biopolitical models to explain the complexity of political theory and social change. His discussion emphasizes the new cybernetics, which considers not only self-regulating but also self-organizing or self-producing systems. Self-organizing systems operate in an autonomous sphere comparable to the autonomy of the political community and the political actors who compose this community. The autonomy of these systems is maintained through dynamic equilibration processes that entail not only the preservation of a given structure but also, at crucial times, the creative rearrangement of the existing structure and its transformation into a new pattern of relations. From this perspective, a political crisis is both a threat to the political system and the occasion of its renewal; stability may also mean decay. Emphasizing the links that have developed historically between the natural and social sciences, this book is a reflection on the merits of and difficulties involved in representing the evolutionary process at the political level as the problematic reproduction of national communities and states.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- The Complexity of Complex Systems -- Cybernetic Complexity -- Self-Organizing Complexity -- From Biological to Societal Evolution -- Scope and Methods of an Organizationalist Approach to Political Inquiry -- The Role and Functions of the Political System in the Polity -- The Production and Reproduction of the Nation-State -- Political Theory and the Evolution of Ideas -- Conclusion
Laurent Dobuzinskis is an assistant professor of political science at Simon Fraser University in Canada.