Category Archives: Publications

Just released – Late Modernity: Trajectories Towards Morphogenic Society

Late Modernity: Trajectories Towards Morphogenic Society

latemodernityThis volume examines the reasons for intensified social change after 1980; a peaceful process of a magnitude that is historically unprecedented. It examines the kinds of novelty that have come about through morphogenesis and the elements of stability that remain because of morphostasis. It is argued that this pattern cannot be explained simply by ‘acceleration’. Instead, we must specify the generative mechanism(s) involved that underlie and unify ordinary people’s experiences of different disjunctions in their lives. The book discusses the umbrella concept of ‘social morphogenesis’ and the possibility of transition to a ‘Morphogenic Society’. It examines possible ‘generative mechanisms’ accounting for the effects of ‘social morphogenesis’ in transforming previous and much more stable practices. Finally, it seeks to answer the question of what is required in order to justify the claim that Morphogenic society can supersede modernity.

Table of Contents:

  1. ‘Stability’ or ‘Stabilization’ – on which would Morphogenic Society Depend? – Margaret S. Archer.
  2. A Speeding up of the Rate of Social Change? Power, Technology, Resistance, Globalization and the Good Society – Tony Lawson
  3. The Emergent Social Qualities of a ‘Morphogenetic’ Society: Cultures, Structures, and Forms of Reflexivity – Andrea M. Maccarini
  4. Contemporary Mechanisms of Social Change – Douglas V. Porpora
  5. The Generative Mechanisms Re-Configuring Late Modernity -Margaret S. Archer
  6. On the Validity of Describing ‘Morphogenic Society’ as a System and Justifiability of Thinking about it as a Social Formation –  Wolfgang Hofkirchner
  7. Morphogenic Society and the Structure of Social Relations – Pierpaolo Donati
  8. Morphogenesis Unbound from the Dynamics of Multilevel Networks: A Neo-Structural Perspective – Emmanuel Lazega
  9. Morphogenesis and Normativity: Problems the Former Creates for the Latter – Ismael Al-Amoudi
  10. Morphogenesis and Cooperation in the International Political System – Colin Wight.

See the publisher’s page for more information

Post-Ethical Society: THE IRAQ WAR, ABU GHRAIB, AND THE MORAL FAILURE OF THE SECULAR

Screen shot 2014-02-16 at 20.14.44We’ve all seen the images from Abu Ghraib: stress positions, US soldiers kneeling on the heads of prisoners, and dehumanizing pyramids formed from black-hooded bodies. We have watched officials elected to our highest offices defend enhanced interrogation in terms of efficacy and justify drone strikes in terms of retribution and deterrence. But the mainstream secular media rarely addresses the morality of these choices, leaving us to ask individually: Is this right?

In this singular examination of the American discourse over war and torture, Douglas V. Porpora, Alexander Nikolaev, Julia Hagemann May, and Alexander Jenkins investigate the opinion pages of American newspapers, television commentary, and online discussion groups to offer the first empirical study of the national conversation about the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the revelations of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib a year later. Post-Ethical Society is not just another shot fired in the ongoing culture war between conservatives and liberals, but a pensive and ethically engaged reflection of America’s feelings about itself and our actions as a nation. And while many writers and commentators have opined about our moral place in the world, the vast amount of empirical data amassed in Post-Ethical Society sets it apart—and makes its findings that much more damning.

See the publisher’s page for more information 

Social Morphogenesis

Social Morphogenesis

socialmorphogenesisThe rate of social change has speeded up in the last three decades, but how do we explain this? This volume ventures what the generative mechanism is that produces such rapid change and discusses how this differs from late Modernity. Contributors examine if an intensification of morphogenesis (positive feedback that results in a change in social form) and a corresponding reduction in morphostasis (negative feedback that restores or reproduces the form of the social order) best captures the process involved.

This volume resists proclaiming a new social formation as so many books written by empiricists have done by extrapolating from empirical data. Until we can convincingly demonstrate that a new generative mechanism is at work, it is premature to argue what accounts for the global changes that are taking place and where they will lead. More concisely we seek to answer the question whether or not current social change can be regarded as social morphogenesis. Only then, in the next volumes will the same team of authors be able to remove the question mark.

Table of Contents:

  1. Social Morphogenesis and the Prospects of Morphogenic Society– Margaret S. Archer
  2. Morphogenesis and Social Change  – Douglas V. Porpora
  3. The Morphogenetic Approach and the Idea of a Morphogenetic Society: The Role of Regularities – Andrea M. Maccarini
  4. Emergence and Morphogenesis: Causal Reduction and Downward Causation? – Tony Lawson
  5. Morphogenesis, Continuity and Change in the International Political System – Colin Wight
  6. Self-Organization: What Is It, What Isn’t It and What’s It Got to Do with Morphogenesis? – Kate Forbes-Pitt
  7. Self-Organisation as the Mechanism of Development and Evolution in Social Systems – Wolfgang Hofkirchner
  8. Morphogenic Society: Self-Government and Self-Organization as Misleading Metaphors  – Margaret S. Archer
  9. Network Analysis and Morphogenesis: A Neo-Structural Exploration and Illustration – Emmanuel Lazega
  10. Authority’s Hidden Network: Obligations, Roles and the Morphogenesis of Authority – Ismael Al-Amoudi
  11. Morphogenesis and Social Networks: Relational Steering Not Mechanical Feedback – Pierpaolo Donati

See the publisher’s page for more information