Observing International Relations draws upon the modern systems theory of society, developed by Niklas Luhmann, to provide new perspectives on central aspects of contemporary world society and to generate theoretically informed insights on the possibilities and limits of regulation in global governance.

The authors develop a Luhmannian theory of world society by contrasting it with competing notions of international society, critically discussing the use of modern systems theory in international relations theory and assessing its treatment of central concepts within international relations, such as power, sovereignty, governance and war.

part |2 pages

Part II Competing notions of world society and world society as the “largest social system possible”

part |2 pages

Part III Bringing Modern Systems Theory to the study of IR: concepts and questions