Benefits of using Alexander Bogdanov’s organizational theory in explaining the transformations of the European Union

Benefits of using Alexander Bogdanov’s organizational theory in explaining the transformations of the European Union

Moiseeva D.E.,

Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia,

elibrary_id: 836089 | ORCID: 0000-0003-1575-4019 | RESEARCHER_ID: G-1627-2017

Article received: 2021.08.12. Accepted: 2022.06.10

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2023.03.04

For citation:

Moiseeva D.E. Benefits of using Alexander Bogdanov’s organizational theory in explaining the transformations of the European Union. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No. 3. P. 39-49. (In Russ.). EDN: TMPOVI


The current development crises of the European Union (EU) reveals at least a slowdown in the pace of integration, if not ia rollback on common policies. The seeming lack of connection between events like Brexit, European debt crisis or the rise of Eurosceptic parties, leads to their isolation as subjects of research. However, there is an alternative view that all these events are different manifestations of a single process which is consistent with a deep transformation of the EU political system. Transformation implies both integration and disintegration. In this article, organizational theory (tectology) is presented from the perspective of applying the concepts proposed by Alexander Bogdanov to the processes of change in the united Europe. Classical theories of European integration are limited because they focus on the drivers of integration rather than disintegration. With the politicization of integration, growth of its influence on everyday life of European citizens and changes in the EU itself, a demand appeared for a new theory that could explain these changes (including crises). The article analyzes modern theoretical and methodological approaches in European studies, including postfunctionalism. The blind side of postfunctionalism is its extensive expansion of the subject field. Despite the predominance of this theory in modern European studies, it is not a system theory, meaning that another turn of EU transformation will require a new theory to explain it. The organizational theory of A. Bogdanov, being a system theory, is able to provide the necessary assumption and concepts in order to explain crisis phenomena (including disintegration) as part of a larger process. A distinctive feature of Bogdanov’s tectology is considering a (political) system as a “living” creature capable of self-regulation and adaptation. This approach to the study of democratic political systems seems to yield better insights in the functioning of the modern International Relations system.

disintegration, transformation, European Union, theories of integration, postfunctionalism, Bogdanov, tectology, organizational theory.


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Content No. 3, 2023

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