Edited By Anastasia Marinopoulou
The volume is intended to constitute a cosmopolitan project in itself, comprising contributions from scholars with very diverse approaches. Together, these contributions provide a stimulating analysis of what cosmopolitanism can offer to socially and politically diverse twenty-first-century societies.
9 Differentiation, Class Formation and Elite-Network Structures in World Society (Jens Greve)
Jens Greve 9 Differentiation, Class Formation and Elite-Network Structures in World Society Introduction This contribution discusses two approaches to global social structures. The first approach is the differentiation theory proposed by Niklas Luhmann. According to him, in contradistinction to stratified societies the modern world society is marked by functional differentiated subsystems. Functional differentiation does not preclude inequalities due to the internal stand- ards of the subsystems, it might even produce ‘exclusion’, but because of the autonomy of the systems it is not expected that privileged individu- als are able to control resources of many subsystems at the same time. As the subsystems follow their ‘own logic’, the formation of a ‘ruling class’ is unlikely to occur. In addition, the functional subsystems for Luhmann are not organized in a hierarchical way. Luhmann justifies this assumption by three ‘a priori’ reasons. First, no subsystem can represent the whole of society. Second, no subsystem is able to fulfill the functions of the other subsystems. Third, the autonomy (autopoiesis) of the subsystems precludes being steered by other subsystems.1 Although these arguments are conclu- sive to a certain extent, I am going to argue that differentiation between subsystems does allow for dominant relations between the subsystems. The second approach is the thesis of transnational capitalist class (TCC) for- mation proposed by Leslie Sklair. According to Sklair, a new transnational 1 Niklas Luhmann, Ecological communication (Chicago: Polity Press, 1989); Niklas Luhmann, Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1997). 248 Jens Greve class is in...
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