Category Archives: JoS

Journal of Sociocybernetics Vol 13 (1)

Featuring three original scientific papers (and a new layout), a new issue of the Journal of Sociocybernetics is not out. The journal is licensed under creative commons and it’s open access.

Feel free to download and read the papers:

Minds in Chains: A Sociocybernetic Analysis of the Abrahamic Faiths PDF
Bernard CE Scott
Rolando García’s “Complex Systems Theory” and its relevance to sociocybernetics PDF
Gaston Becerra, José Antonio Amozurrutia
Changing Social Focussing in the Development of Jazz Music PDF
James Hay, J David Flynn

Volume 13 (2), with the first chunk of the proceedings from Zaragoza conference, is also ready. Expect it to be out in the news few weeks.

Journal of Sociocybernetics Vol 12 (2014) is out

We are pleased to announce that the Vol. 12 (2014) of JOURNAL  OF SOCIOCYBERNETICS is out.

You can view it here: (please note the new sever-address)

The present issue of the JOURNAL OF SOCIOCYBERNETICS is the last edition under the  responsibility of Michael Paetau from the “Center for Sociocybernetics” Studies (http://www.socio- In January 2015, the quite recently elected board of the ISA-Research Committee 51 will take up its work and Fabio Giglietto, Professor at the Department of Communication and Human Studies of the University of Urbino “Carlo Bo” ( and research fellow of the “Center for Sociocybernetics” Studies (http://www.socio-, will commence as the new journal editor. During the last four years Fabio Giglietto, already was a member of the editorial board of our Journal. We wish him and the new board continued success and all the best for the upcoming period.

The current edition includes articles applying several theoretical aspects of complexity analysis on different empirical cases. In their article “Reflections on the Complexity of Ancient Social Heterarchies: Toward New Models of Social Self-Organization in Pre-Hispanic Colombia” Nathalie Mezza-Garcia, Tom Froese and Nelson Fernández face the limitations which hierarchical and centrally controlled systems have in their information processes with respect to manage large-scale crisis and challenges. With reference to historical examples in pre-Hispanic Colombia, specifically the cultures of the Zenú, the Muiscas and the Tayronas, the authors propose that creating and analyzing computer models of their heterarchically and decentralized processes of management could provide a broader perspective on the possibilities of self-organized political systems.

In his article “The Paradox of Social Ties after the ICT Revolution: A Second-Order Observation” Saburo Akahori explores what kinds of distinctions are used when the change of social systems is observed. His analysis refers on the question of significance of social ties in Japan, which has repeatedly been emphasized in recent years. One example is the frequency of use of the Japanese word kizuna which means bond. It sounds odd be- cause conventionally kizuna indicates intimate, continuous relationships, not temporary relationships. Even though the word kizuna means strong ties, now it also implies weak ties. Here the author asks for the reason why the strange usage of the word kizuna has become acceptable.

Patricia E. Almaguer-Kalixto, José A. Amozurrutia, Chaime Marcuello Servós present in their paper “Policy Processes as Complex Systems: The case of Mesoamerican Sus- tainable Development Initiative” a research methodology for analyzing policy processes that are defined at the global level but implemented locally. The interrelations between these two levels pose great conceptual challenges in explaining the changes, transformations and continuations occurring in this complex process based on empirical information. Understanding the policy process as a complex system, the paper proposes analyzing macro, meso and micro levels as subsystems of the total process, identifying the interrelations between policy action, actors and discourses. The paper
takes the example of the Mesoamerican Sustainable Development Initiative (MSDI) of the Puebla Panama Plan (PPP), a regional integration plan for a new ‘Mesoamerica’ that originally included the seven Central American countries and the southern states of Mexico.

In her paper “Sustainable Technology Assessment and Sustainable Scenarios of Techno Social Phenomena” Michiko Amemiya-Ramírez desribes sustainable technology as a technological subsystem with marginal or no negative impacts on other technological systems, as well as the environment, the society and the economy. To identify such technologies it is necessary to describe their behavior and their present and future interactions with those systems. Due to social dynamics, a complete assessment to identify sustainable technologies requires a hard systems analysis and a soft system analysis. A hard system analysis is useful to assess the interactions, behavior and characteristics of the technology quantitatively. A soft system analysis is convenient to describe other characteristics and interactions through qualitative and non measurable characteristics.

For further issues of the JOURNAL OF SOCIOCYBERNETICS (the peer-reviewed open access journal of RC51 on Sociocybernetics), we invite scholars who have their background in the field of systems theory, sociocybernetics, information & communication science and who apply this for studying various social phenomena regarding their complexity and dynamics, to submit articles for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOCIOCYBERNETICS. For submitting articles authors need to register with the journal prior to submitting. People who want to register have the option to register as a reader or as an author. Every reader or author can register by themselves using the journal’s web- site. After clicking the register item they will be guided through the registration process. After registration they will be able to login by username and password and then authors may submit their papers. The system will immediately confirm the submission and will automatically trigger the review process. Authors will get an email with a URL that will enable them to track its progress through the editorial process once they are logged in. We recommend to review the “About the Journal” page for the journal’s policies, as well as the “Author Guidelines“.

New Board 2014-2018

Following the call for candidates and afterwards the mail-ballot among our members, there it is the RC51 Board 2014-2018:

  • President: Chaime Marcuello‐Servós, Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)
  • Vice‐President: José A. Amozurrutia, National University Autonomous of México (México)
  • Secretary: Patricia E. Almaguer Kalixto, Centro de Estudios y Agricultura Internacional (CERAI) / Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain)
  • Treasurer: Saburo Akahori, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University (Japan)
  • Newsletter Editor: Juan Carlos Barrón Pastor, Center for Research on North America (CISAN) / National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
  • Journal Editor: Fabio Giglietto, University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”, Italy

We had 27 votes out of which 23 are valid ‐ members in good standing (i.e. being a registered member and having paid fees – so for those who forgot, please do renew your membership :-D). All candidates have received the same number of votes.

We also take the chance to thanks all the members of the previous board with special thank you to our past president Eva Buchinger.

Journal of Sociocybernetics, Vol. 11, is out!

From our Journal Editor

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce to you that the Vol. 11 (2013) of JOURNAL OF
SOCIOCYBERNETICS is out. You can view it here

But I must inform you that the publication of the current issueis not free of dolour. Deeply shocked and with great sorrow wehad to take note that Nils O. Larsson, one of the authors of the lastissue of JoS, passed away unexpectedly. For many years Nils O. Larssonwas a member of the Research Committee on Sociocybernetics (RC 51) andthe International Sociological Association (ISA). He was part of theWorld Congress of Sociology 2010 in Gothenburg, where he organized theRC 51 – Session “Global problems require solutions with a globalperspective”. This session was strongly related to one of the mainthemes of the XVII World Congress of Sociology: sustainability, asubject which had become more and more in focus due to the threateningclimate change and the present economic crisis. In the face of theincreasing and sometimes overwhelming complexity of these problems, itwas Nils’ ambition to develop an adequate research method that couldanalyse and design human activity systems on an individual, family, aswell as a societal and global level. He called this methodology”Decision Settings Analysis”. Three of the papers, presented in hisworld congress session were published later in Volume 10 of JoS.Unfortunately Nils has not lived to see the results of his endeavours.He passed away during the editorial process which only became aware tous once the volume had been published. Today, as we prepare for theVXIII World Congress of Sociology in Yokohama, Nils O. Larsson ismissed very much.

The current issue of the Journal of Sociocybernetics includes threetheoretical oriented articles and one empircal study. In their article“Changing Social Focusing in Indigenous Social Movements” the authorsDavid Flynn and James Hay develop a theory to explain why some socialmovements develop through stages of increasing intensity which wedefine as an increase in social focusing. The authors name six suchstages of focusing: disintegration, revitalization, religious,organisation, militaristic, and self-immolation. Their theory uses twovariables from the social sciences: differentiation and centrality,where differentiation refers to the internal structure of a socialsystem and centrality measures the variety of incoming information. Theratio of the two, differentiation/centrality (the d/c ratio) is ashorthand way of saying that centrality must be matched by acorresponding level of differentiation to maintain basic focusing. Totest the theory the authors examine historically indigenous socialmovements, in particular, the Grassy Narrows movement in northernOntario Canada.

Ksenia Sidorova, Roxana Quiroz Carranza and Astrid Karina Rivero Pérezpresent an empirical study about the youth in a marginalized Communityin Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. The subjects of the research are allstudents of a high school, created by a local university specificallyfor the needs of their community. The study looks into the processes oftheir construction as knowing subjects that possess their own ideas onwhat it means to be young, participate in personal networks, and havehad a unique experience related to the human rights, which more thanoften are violated in the case of “marginalized” youth.

In continuation of his “Introduction into Sociocybernetics” Roberto Gustavo Mancilla presents now the third and last part which is named “Fourth Order Cybernetics” and where the author focusses the question of rationality and language. The first and second part were published in volumes 9 and 10 of JoS.

Finally, looking forward the 50 anniversary of the death of NorbertWiener in 2014, Michael Paetau asks in his article “Niklas Luhmann andCybernetics” in what extent we can include Luhmann’s work into thecybernetic tradition. Which are the significant connection-pointsbetween cybernetics and Luhmann’s work? What is the relevance of thisconnection for Luhmanns own theoretical development? Which are thecongruences and which are the differences? To what extent is Luhmann’sTheory of Social Systems even though his critical distance integrableinto the spectrum of the approaches of “New Cybernetic” (as Geyer &van der Zouwen formulated in 1986)?

The next edition of JoS is currently prepared. For further issues weinvite schoolars who have their background in the field of systemstheory, sociocybernetics, information- and communication science andwho apply this for studying various social phenomena regarding theircomplexity and dynamics, to submit articles for publication in theJournal of Sociocybernetics .For submitting articles authors need toregister with the journal prior to submitting. People who want toregister have the option to register as a reader or as an author. Everyreader or author can register by themselves using the journal’swebsite. After clicking the register item they will be guided throughthe registration process. After registration they will be able to loginby username and password and then authors may submit their papers. Thesystem will immediately confirm the submission and will automaticallytrigger the review process. Authors will get an email with a URL thatwill enable them to track its progress through the editorial processonce they are logged in. We recommend to review the “About the Journal”page for the journal’s policies, as well as the “Author Guidelines”

Journal of Sociocybernetics volume 10 is now available

We are pleased to announce that the Vol. 10 (2012) of our open access Journal of Sociocybernetics  is out.

The current issue focus on “Sustainable Development”. The first two articles attend the social dimension of the tri-dimensional approach of Sustainability (ecological, economic and social dimension). Luciano Gallón starts with his article “Poverty and Artificial Sustainability. A research on the Structure and Dynamics of South America” where he shows the process of building a theoretical and practical framework for modelling South America using the approach of Systems Dynamics.

The social dimension of Sustainable Development is also focussed in the following contribution. Darío Menanteau-Horta analyses in his article “Globalization and Distorted Development: In Search of a System Perspective for Sustainability” the topic of Sustainable Development within the controversy between those who promise prosperity and opportunities in an expanded and international world market and those who claim that globalization, as it has been carried on today, is a negative force for peace, equity, and social development.

In his Short Communication to this topic Nils O. Larsson suggests a methodology to find the most important decisions within a specific area of discussion. Focussing on the important decisions and in which settings they are taken gives an increased possibility of solving the problems in question. In this actual subject the analysis should cover decisions on all levels i.e. individual, informal and formal groupings of people, nations, group of nations as well as decisions on the global level.

In continuation of his “Introduction into Sociocybernetics”, published in the last edition of JoS, Roberto Gustavo Mancilla presents now the second part focussing the relationship between power, culture and institutions. The third part in which the question of rationality and language will be discussed follows in the next issue of the Journal of Sociocybernetics.

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