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Erkennen, was die Welt zusammenhält: Die Finanzmarktkrise als Herausforderung für die soziologische Systemtheorie


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  • Mayntz, Renate
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    Der Aufsatz beschäftigt sich mit der Frage, ob eine Systemtheorie, in deren Zentrum die funktionelle Differenzierung steht, einen analytischen Rahmen für eine über die deskriptive Auflistung einzelner Faktoren hinausgehende Erklärung der zu der jüngsten internationalen Krise des Finanzsystems führenden Entwicklung bietet. Die Frage ließe sich nur bejahen, wenn funktionelle Differenzierung auf Leistung bezogen wird, das Finanzsystem als von der produzierenden Wirtschaft getrenntes Teilsystem betrachtet wird und das Eigeninteresse der Akteure im Teilsystem sowie die von externen Akteuren tatsächlich nachgefragten Leistungen in die Analyse einbezogen werden. Das würde verlangen, der Systemtheorie einen akteurtheoretischen Boden einzuziehen. Da damit Macht ins Zentrum der Analyse rückt, müsste auch die Verschränkung funktioneller und stratifikatorischer Differenzierung thematisiert werden. Diese theoretischen Modifikationen und Erweiterungen passen kaum unter das Dach der gängigen Theorie funktioneller Differenzierung, sondern begründen einen anderen, zugleich stärker historischen analytischen Ansatz. -- This article tries to answer the question whether the sociological systems theory that focuses on functional differentiation provides an analytical approach that permits going beyond the identification of isolated causal factors in explaining the developments leading up to the recent financial market crisis. To be able to do so would require to define functional sub-systems with reference to specific outputs rather than codes, to differentiate the financial system from the productive economy, and to include the self-interest of financial system actors as well as actually existing service demands of external actors in the analysis. This amounts to an actor-theoretic revision of social systems theory as presented by Parsons and Luhmann, which in turn introduces power phenomena into the analysis, thus calling for the consideration of the relationship between horizontal functional and vertical power differentiation. The necessary modification and extension of the classic paradigm of functional differentiation would result in the construction of an altogether different analytical approach.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 13/2.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:132

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    1. Jongchul Kim, 2011. "How modern banking originated: The London goldsmith-bankers' institutionalisation of trust," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(6), pages 939-959, October.
    2. Deutschmann, Christoph, 2009. "Soziologie kapitalistischer Dynamik," MPIfG Working Paper 09/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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