Self-Organisation as the Mechanism of Development and Evolution in Social Systems

  • Wolfgang HofkirchnerEmail author


This chapter explores how close the concepts of morphogenesis and self-organisation are. Both can be seen to have natural science origins, though applicable to the long-term history of societies, to events within societies and to the contemporary society into which modernity seems to be transforming. Both can be labelled descriptive, explanatory and normative at the same time. That view can be accomplished by integrating dialectical philosophy, evolutionary systems theory and critical social systems theory, each based upon the former. The argument starts with a discussion of revolution, proceeds to reflexivity and ends with the need to grasp unity-through-diversity in order to respond to the complexity of the global age.


Evolution in social systems Concepts of morphogenesis and self-organisation History of societies Contemporary societies Discussion of revolution Integrating dialectical philosophy 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science and Institute for Design and Technology AssessmentVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria

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