This sociological theory of communication is founded in a tradition that includes Giddens' (1979) structuration theory, Habermas' (1981) theory of communicative action, and Luhmann's (1984) proposal to consider social systems as self-organizing. The study also elaborates on Shannon's (1948) mathematical theory of communication for the formalization and operationalization of the non-linear dynamics.
The development of scientific communications can be studied using citation analysis. The exchange media at the interfaces of knowledge production provide us with the evolutionary model of a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations. The construction of the European Information Society can then be analyzed in terms of interacting networks of communication. The issues of sustainable development and the expectation of social change are discussed in relation to the possibility of a general theory of communication.
In this book, LoetLeydesdorff sets out to answer the question, "Can society be considered as a self-organizing (autopoietic) system. In the process, Leydesdorff, develops a general sociological theory of communication, as well as a special theory of scientific communication designed to analyze complex systems such as the Euroean Information Society. (from review in JASIST 53, 2002, 62-63)