About this blog

This blog focuses on social systems theory as developed by Niklas Luhmann (1927-98), Professor of Sociology at Bielefeld University in Germany. The posts are written by Carlton Clark, Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. I have also started a Facebook group called Niklas Luhmann Group. Anyone interested in Luhmann’s work is welcome to join.

An important feature of this blog is its hypertextual structure. Key concepts in social systems theory are hyperlinked, sort of like Wikipedia, which means that the blog posts can be read in any order based on associational linkages. I also update posts as I explore what I’ve written. So the blog is mainly for me, as I use it to work out ideas. But, of course, I am happy to see that other people also read it from time to time.

Incidentally, Luhmann is known to have written in a kind of hypertextual, rather than conventionally linear, manner. This style has always appealed to me. I wrote my doctoral dissertation on literary hypertext back when the Internet was still pretty new, and I have probably always thought in a nonlinear, hypertextual way.

Note: This blog used to be called Autopoiesis: Producing and Reproducing Social Systems Theory.

You are welcome to post comments, as well as to email me at clclark563@gmail.com.


  1. Hi Carlton,

    Really enjoying your blog. I am currently using Luhmann as a framework for my phd, namely applying it to the concept of cyberspace. I’m curious, have you spent much time exploring Luhmann’s analytical strategies? I’m focusing on this right now, trying to get a handle on his somewhat unorthodox methodology. Would love to share thoughts or read a future piece on the strategies…


    1. Hi Kirill,
      Thanks very much! I sent you an email in December asking you to tell me more about your research, but didn’t a response. I’ll try again.


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