Aligning normativity with Luhmann for a critical study of industrial relations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article examines the possibility for conducting an empirical analysis of a system of industrial relations using Luhmann’s theory on autopoietic systems as a framework of analysis, but aligning that analysis with the aspirations of critical theory. The article provides a methodological contribution and based on the dual understanding of the concept of values as containing both a positivistic and a normative character, the article identifies a methodological model. Through the application of this methodological model, analysing the empirical material in two steps, the researcher will be able to conduct an analysis that can generate conclusions holding normative aspirations. This is possible since the model will allow the researcher to identify the normative values that frame the programming of the system of industrial relations and the structurally coupled systems. As such the analysis will provide ground for questioning the normative values that frame the programming of the studied systems and thus generate conclusions in line with the ambitions of critical theory.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society


  • socio-legal methodology, autopoietic systems theory, critical theory, normative values, positivistic values, industrial relations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-19
JournalRetfærd: Nordisk juridisk tidsskrift
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Ann-Christine Hartzén, 2019, Lavalgenerationen - 2010-talets doktorsavhandlingar i arbetsrätt. Selberg, N. & Sjödin, E. (eds.). Uppsala: Iustus förlag, p. 189-204

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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