Indetermination, isomorphism, resilience: a system model of political process under the conditions of digital transformation

Indetermination, isomorphism, resilience:
a system model of political process under the conditions of digital transformation

Kondratenko K.S.,

St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia; Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia,

elibrary_id: 743762 | ORCID: 0000-0002-9145-5435 | RESEARCHER_ID: AAG-8758-2021

Article received: 2022.02.27. Accepted: 2023.01.11

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2023.03.11

Rubric: DIXI!

For citation:

Kondratenko K.S. Indetermination, isomorphism, resilience: a system model of political process under the conditions of digital transformation. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No. 3. P. 146-164. (In Russ.). EDN: NRSLJX

This work was supported by the Expert Institute for Social Research (EISI), grant “Evidence-Based Politics of Technological Sovereignty and Trust: A Study of Public Justification Strategies”.


The article presents the model of “indeterministic system” – an abstraction introduced to describe the principles of organizing public administration in the context of digital transformation. The methodology of the article is based on various systemic approaches – cybernetic, structural-functional, synergetic, etc., as well as a number of philosophical concepts that, from the author’s point of view, have a significant heuristic potential for systemic research. The model of “indeterministic systems” is based not only on the synthesis of various political, philosophical and systemic studies, but is also the theoretical result of the author’s work as part of several teams that conducted in 2019-21 both theoretical and empirical research in the field of public administration digitalization. The basic concept of the article – “isomorphic indeterministic system” – analyses the main structural principles of public administration related to the interactions of the described system to other systems. The article also describes the principles of public administration followed by indeterministic systems, such as invisibility, amplification of meaning flows, providing communication and indifference to events. These principles, updated in the era of digital transformation, from the point of view of the author, are not only a response to the growing influence of new technologies in modern society, but also embody the original system properties of bureaucracy. However, this model is not “rational” – on the contrary, indeterministic systems arise, first of all, as a reaction to expectations, the totality of which is designated in the work as topos. Determination and indetermination replace each other in the flow of managerial cycles, striving for a new stability. Sustainability in work is interpreted not only as a systemic balance, but also as cooperation in public policy, as a synergistic interaction of various systems.

indetermination, isomorphism, resilience, rational value system, recursive sensory system, topos, digitalization, digital transformation.


 Al-Rodhan, N.R.F. (2009). Sustainable history and the dignity of man: a philosophy of history and civilizational triumph. Berlin: LIT.

Aneesh, A. (2009). Global labor: algocratic modes of organization. Sociological Theory, 27(4), 347-370.

Crozier, M. (2007). Recursive governance: contemporary political communication and public policy. Political Communication, 24(1), 1-18.

Danaher, J., Hogan, M.J., Noone, C., Kennedy, R., Behan, A., De Paor, A., Felzmann, H., Haklay, M., Khoo, Su-ming, Morison, j., Murphy, M.H., O’Brolchain, N., Schafer, B., & Shankar, K. (2017). Algorithmic governance: developing a research agenda through the power of collective intelligence. Big Data & Society, 4(2), 1-21.

Easton, D. (1965). A systems analysis of political life. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Katzenbach, C., & Ulbricht, L. (2019). Algorithmic governance. Internet Policy Review, 8(4), 1-18.

Kondratenko, K.S. (2022). Cybernetic philosophy of digital public governance: modeling recursive sensory systems. Proceedings of the International Conferences on ICT, Society and Human Beings 2022, Web Based Communities and Social Media 2022 and e-Health 2022 (July 19-21, 2022). Lisbon, Portugal: IADIS. P. 51-58.

Osborne, D., & Gaebler, T. (1993). Reinventing government: how the entrepreneurial spirit is transforming the public sector. New York, NY: Plume.

Parsons, T. (1991). The social system. London: Routledge.

Sadowski, J., & Selinger, E. (2014). Creating a taxonomic tool for technocracy and applying it to Silicon Valley. Technology in Society, 38, 161-168.

Sætra, H.S. (2020). A shallow defence of a technocracy of artificial intelligence: Examining the political harms of algorithmic governance in the domain of government. Technology in Society, 62, 101283.

Townes, M. (2010). Usage of recursive in political science. Political Science & Politics, 43(2), 259-261.

Yeung, K. (2018). Algorithmic regulation: a critical interrogation. Regulation & Governance, 12(4), 505-523.


Almond, G.A., Powell, Jr., G.B., Strom, K., & Dalton, R.J. (2002). Comparative politics today: a world view. (Russ. ed.: Almond, G.A., Powell, Jr., G.B., Strom, K., & Dalton, R.J. Sravnitel'naya politologiya segodnya: Mirovoi obzor. Moscow: Aspect Press).

Balayan, A.A., & Tomin, L.V. (2000). Digital autocracy. Institutional specifics of relations between the state and IT companies. Public Policy Journal, 4(2), 101-115. (In Russ.)

Durkheim, E. (1996). De la division du travail social. (Russ. ed.: Durkheim, E. O razdelenii obshchestvennogo truda. Moscow: Kanon).

Husserl, E.G.A. (1998). Cartesianische Meditationen. (Russ. ed.: Gusserl' E. Kartezianskie razmyshleniya. St. Petersburg: Nauka; Uventa).

Kondratenko, K.S. (2020). Elements of the theory of rational-sensible systems. Tomsk State University Journal, 459, 113-118. (In Russ.)

Kondratenko, K.S. (2021). Aspekty kiberneticheskoi ontologii rekursivno-sensornogo upravleniya [Aspects of cybernetic ontology of recursive sensory control]. In Rossiya i politicheskii poryadok v menyayushchemsya mire: tsennosti, instituty, perspektivy: Materialy IX Vserossiiskogo kongressa politologov, Moskva, 16-18 dekabrya 2021 goda [Russia and the Political Order in a Changing World: Values, Institutions, Prospects: Proceedings of the IX All-Russian Congress of Political Scientists, Moscow, December 16-18, 2021] (pp. 251-252). Moscow: Aspect Press. (In Russ.)

Latour, B. (2014). Reassembling the social. An introduction to actor-network-theory. (Russ. ed.: Latour, B. Peresborka social'nogo: vvedenie v aktorno-setevuyu teoriyu. Moscow: HSE University Publishing House).

Leibniz, G.W. (1982). La Monadologie. (Russ. ed.: Leibniz, G.W. Monadologiya. In Leibniz, G.W. Sochineniya. In four vol. Vol. 1 (pp. 413-429). Moscow: Mysl').

Losskii, N.O. (1991). Mir kak organicheskoe tseloe [World as an organic whole]. In Losskii, N.O. Izbrannoe [Selected works] (pp. 338-483). Moscow: Pravda. (In Russ.)

Merton, R.K. (2006). Social theory and social structure. (Russ. ed.: Merton, R. Sotsial'naya teoriya i sotsial'naya struktura. Moscow: Khranitel; AST).

Shmatko, N.A. (2001). The phenomenon of public policy. Sociological Studies, 7, 106-112. (In Russ.)

Tomin, L.V., & Balayan, A.A. (2019). Digital panopticon. How do autocracies use technological infrastructure? Eurasian Integration: Economics, Law, Politics, 3, 77-82. (In Russ.)

Weber, M. (1990). Politik als Beruf. (Russ. ed.: Weber, M. Politika kak prizvanie i professiya. In M. Weber. Izbrannye proizvedeniya (pp. 644-706). Moscow: Progress).

Weber, M. (2016). Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Grundriss der verstehenden Soziologie. (Russ. ed.: Weber, M. Khozyaistvo i obshchestvo: ocherki ponimayushchei sotsiologii: in 4 vol. Vol. 1. Sotsiologiya. Moscow: HSE University Publishing House).


Wilson, W. (2003). The study of administration. (Russ. ed.: Wilson, W. Nauka gosudarstvennogo upravleniya. Klassiki teorii gosudarstvennogo upravleniya: amerikanskaya shkola (pp. 24-42). Moscow: Moscow University Press). 


Content No. 3, 2023

See also:

Pastukhov V.B.,
Medvedev and Putin: double-thinking as an alternative to dual power. – Polis. Political Studies. 2009. No6

Shaptalov B.N.,
Russia’s Choice in the Light of “Classic Democracy”. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No1

Yanov A.L.,
Slavophiles and Foreign Politics of Russia in the 19th Century.. – Polis. Political Studies. 1998. No6

Lapayeva V.V.,
Why the Intellectual Class of Russia Needs a Party of Its Own. – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No3

Baranovsky V.G.,
Transformation of Global World Order: Dynamics of Systemic Changes. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No3



   2024      2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991