Are EU networks anticipatory systems? An empirical and analytical approach

Leydesdorff, Loet
May 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 517 Issue 1, p171
Academic Journal
A social system can be considered as distributed by its very nature. Social communication among humans can be expected to be reflexive. Thus, this system contains uncertainty and the uncertainty is provided with meaning. This dual-layeredness enables the network to organize itself (“autopoietically”) into an anticipatory mode. The extent to which anticipatory functions have been developed can be observed, notably in the case of intentional constructions of reflexive layers of organization. In this study, the “Self-Organization of the European Information Society” is analyzed from this angle. Using empirical data, I argue that the increasing unification in representations at the European level allows for another differentiation in terms of the substantive communications that are represented. Insofar as the reflexive layers are differently codified, the anticipatory functions of the system can be strengthened. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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