When a system observes another one, it does not only achieve possibilities of taking a difference for its own perception. It is also possible to discern the references and restrictions of other systems cf. When these are processed by the observing system, this can have consequences for the risk communication. The mode of observation also situates in the attribution of causality. In the pre-capitalist societies you can see a quite trivial fragmentation in primary concerned people in the underclass, while the aristocratic upper class comes to the decisions and is accountable for them cf.
Such an attribution is no more possible in the modern society, because in a functionally differenced society there is no central accountable instance. The question of accountability plays an important role for the central difference of the systemic risk approach, which is the difference of risk and danger. Both mean an insecurity about possible later losses; in the case of risk, the occurrence of a loss is attributed to own operations, in the case of risk it is attributed to the operations in the environment.
Here it is becoming clearer, why the modern society is confronted with risks, which are qualitative changed in such a manner. Taking risks means to bring the possible dangers to mind and this is only then possible, if there are alternatives to the own operations. Decisions that are fraught with risks are taken considering to the idea, that advantages can sometimes be achieved only by putting something on the line.
The functionally systems of the modern society have always to deal with risks and they have to live with them, elaborates Luhmann The consequence of this thought is significant. Because every system has to live with risks and has to take them together — for the example of building a nuclear power plant: the science system explores, the political system allows and the economy pays — the exactly attribution of decisions becomes quite difficult. But to the systems, that cuts the danger of getting prosecuted in case of a loss  ibid.
As Luhmann elaborates, all political decisions are afflicted with insecurity. This is a part of the constructivist base-logic, which says, that a decision is always determined by the difference of two constructions of the future. One assumes, that the decision was taken, the other one assumes no or a different decision. The reason for this is, that the insecurity is not only determined by the decisions of the system, but from many factors, which can not be affected by the system. One example is the climate change, which cannot be regulated in the frame of national politics cf.
Political communications on decisions occur always on two levels. The first one is the level of the actually taken decision, which gets social existence only because it is communicated. That is the level, which is mostly perceived in the public view cf. Seeking expertise often leads to detention of decision processes, because in the modern society there are many alternatives for operations, which are deliberated without coming to a decision.
The reason for this is the rationality of the political system to handle risks. When there are expectations communicated on the political system, to whose satisfaction the politics had to take measures which are afflicted with risk, they will — as long as possible — act decision-rational. That means: letting discuss all possible operations, but do not decide. Japp However, seeking expertise is in numerous cases just a tactical act of the political system to conceal its own disability or reluctance of taking a decision .
The knowledge of experts is at this point only meant as scientific- objective knowledge. To the political system, it has the advantage, that it can be revised e. Because this possibility is always given, the political system can retard its decisions in this way. On the other hand, the political system does not have to take up the knowledge in its decisions. The possibility of amendment is only given for knowledge, decisions can be conclusive und not revisable cf.
In the political discussion, every decision holds a risk, and the political system has to discover mechanism to handle them. In the foregoing part of this paper, I presented one of them: the avoidance of risk-afflicted decisions. Accordingly, you have to devise two types of risk communication: first, communications about decisions, to which the deciders have come under risk, and secondly, the phrasing of risks in a social context.
Communication about risk is irrational in the view of common understanding. It works with fear, which you cannot be marked down with rational arguments and scientific knowledge. If fear has come to the communication of the society or the specific systems, you can no longer control it cf. This also means, that a scientific consideration of possible loss events is doomed a priori when it should antagonise social constructed fear. In the systemic view, communication that is based on fears does not need a really existent fear, because such a feeling cannot be detected objectively.
On this background, it is not really surprising, that those, who can articulate and by that use the fear in the best way, have the best chance to receive supporters for his point of view. Especially the political system, which comes to its decisions balanced and ensured by the knowledge of experts, is confronted with the problem, that it does not take the public fears seriously enough to establish understanding for its decisions.
The communication about risky decisions is always with the reservation of the possible sanctions voting out. So to the politics it is just coherent not to decide or to adjourn a decision. On the other hand, social agents like social movements can use the potential of fear communication unrestrained, because they do not have operational enforcements. Fear cannot be canonised, but wrong political decisions. This venture drops, when they communicate about risks under the aspect of fear. The implementation of high-technological constructions has always consequences for the social processes of a community.
Bechmann et seq. At first, we have to find an answer on the question, where in the political system the social movements are grounded. All social movements agitate outside of the parliaments, so they cannot underlie this supercoding. Cases of some European green parties, that cleared the huddle to the parliaments, are the exception. As protest movements cannot act inside the political system and cannot participate in taking the decisions, they assist as observers of the political system and can have bearing on the political agenda.
Assuming political responsibility, which means with Luhmann democratic power, is the tasks of the parliaments — this is accepted by the social movements. By that, it is accountable, that parliament external movements can use the instrument of fear communication and find supporters of their so communicated ideas. Social movements compose in the periphery of the political system. As the established political organisations are in constant person exchange with the constitutional institutions, there is a consequent demand for participation on the agenda-setting for topics from the external of the political system.
Social movements can achieve this because of their major candour cf. The new social movements are no longer focussed on just one functionally system as it was e.
So it is possible to them to broach the issue on their topics and generate consternation cf. The internal organisation of social movements is unincisive, they are neither interaction systems nor organisations in the narrow sense . They do not define by affiliation, but by a — often diffuse — interest.
Protest movements do not have a binary code for their systemic differentiation, but differentiate by taking part or taking not part in the protest. This is determined by the topic of protest cf. As all autopoietic systems, social movements depend on keeping the difference.
To Luhmann, this moralist communication is a problem. Social movements support the self-description of the modern society, because they have the ability to describe the dysfunctions of their opponents in the other functionally systems with an external view. Because of their moralist communication, they do not and even cannot account the intrasystem rationalities cf. Such communications can only attain, when they create consternation, often also consternation for persons concerned.
For the ecological movement this was for instance the accident in Harrisburg or later Chernobyl. These myths do not have to be real occurrences. If you take a look at the German Red-Army-Fraction, this movement had stick together because of the rumours of torture and murder in Stammheim. Naming the new social movements has to do with their topics. Constructions that determine the pettishness of a society for the case of a loss, always depend on their context cf.
At this point, civilian agents get the possibility of affecting this determinants. It is the main task of social movements to articulate social problems and put them into the public view. If the movement has the accordant assumptions, it can have massive influence on the sensibility perspective of a society. This paradox can be dissolved with the model of second- order observation. The society observes, how it is observed by the social movements, and in observing the protest against itself, it can describe cf.
The social movements attract attention only by the mass media. Those can be reached best by conflict and relate to this mostly. By their coverage, the public opinion becomes pre-structured cf.
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Mass media do not have preferences to a specific content or moralist view when they report on high-technological projects. They can acclaim them or convict or make them to the topic of a debate and so on.
So when a movement can conventionalise a conflict and reach by that the attention of the mass media, its topic will soon become an affair of building a public opinion cf. To reach the public attention, social movements are under the pressure to satisfy the interest of the media, e. Raschke On the other hand, the political system constantly observes the public opinion.
When we merge these cognitions, we can see, that social movements are taking influence on the political selection of problems, when they take the way by the mass media. When the media observe the movements and the political system sees the observation of the protest as an observation of its own, it can get under pressure and become active.
The attention of the new social movements concentrates on abstract dangers, which means apparently threatening risks. Their exact appraisal cannot be done by the movement. They push for common control of the high-technologies, that are in their own — and when the movement acts effective, in the social — view noncontrollable. This is the area of conflict in which we can see the difference between the technological view on risks that reduces insecurity to implausibility and an estimation of risk connected to the context for which the insecurity is in the fore cf.
Japp et seq. Under these circumstances, there some local action groups formed with acting against local major projects. These are the roots of the German anti-nuclear movement cf. In the post-war period, which is the beginning of the civil use of nuclear power in western Germany, the public mood on that type of energy was quite different. On the one hand, the military use of nuclear energy was refused, especially under the influence of the just elapsed war and the pictures from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The public opinion drew a line between the atomic annihilation and the peaceful use in nuclear power plants cf.
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