Тарас Плахтій

Динамічні мережі. Теорія та технологія.

Republican tradition: RELOADED

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Key terms: political organizations, republican tradition, organizational ideal, hierarchical construction, variable structure, dynamic networks.


The detailed interdisciplinary analysis of all four components of the republican tradition in terms of social psychology, sociology, group psychoanalysis, ethology, organisation theory, organisational behaviour and other disciplines has allowed us to determine the conditions under which they can be fully realised in modern political parties as the organisational ideal.

We demonstrated that the construction of a Republic should begin from the creation of crystallisation centres – multi-intelligent social model political organisations that allow for a systemic implementation of the four components of republicanism by changing the course of natural group dynamics in primary groups of all party units. Changing the course of natural group dynamics in units of political organisations is possible only through the use of appropriate organisational tools, such as the variable structure – dynamic network, for their creation and construction.

As a result of their successful operation and growth of their authority, the entire society will restructure following the pattern of such successful crystallisation centres and will adopt their proposed values, which will enable the state to acquire all the qualities of a modern Republic.

(January 27, 2016)

Summarizing the more than two-millennium-long history of republicanism in his book “Civic Republicanism” [1], Irish political theorist Iseult Honohan identified four main components of the republican tradition: 1) implementation of a special concept of freedom (as non-domination); 2) citizens’ civic virtue (common interests above personal ones); 3) participation of citizens in determining the conditions of social life and in common practices on the basis of equal access to power for those who care; 4) recognition by society of the significance and value of individual contributions as the basis for the meaningfulness of social life.

In the first part [2] of our research into the republican tradition, we demonstrated that the four basic components of republicanism singled out by Honohan have been largely implemented in modern successful business corporations that belong to the 5th and 6th technological structures, using appropriate organisational tools. This seems to indicate that these components belong to the organisational ideal as the backbone component of the corporate social ideal that structures and defines the content and senses of all its other components, such as the goal, vision, mission, values, aims and strategies.

We also assumed that in Ukraine it is necessary and sufficient to realise the organisational ideal of republicanism in the construction of at least one political party so that it could produce “live” ideology [3] in a real time mode and gain power in a legitimate way due to its higher efficiency and effectiveness compared with other parties. By becoming the reference group, this political force will show the path to success to all other political and social organisations that will quickly re-form in line with its model. Subsequently, together they can re-format the public government bodies, and then entire society in accordance with the organisational ideals of republicanism they implemented in the course of constructing their organisations.

In the second part of our study we actualise, rationalise and reveal the interdependencies between Honohan’s four components of the republican tradition and outline the conditions under which they can be fully realized in the current political parties, as well as offer appropriate organisational tools that will help put it in practice.

When discussing these components, we rely on their summary outlined in the lecture of Russian scholar A. Kharkhordin “What is a Republican Tradition?” [4] (select quotations in an arbitrary form will be in italicized).


  1. Implementation of a Special Concept of Freedom as Non-Domination

1.1. The Classic interpretation of the first component of republicanism in Khardkhordin’s lecture [4].

Republican freedom is conceived as a state opposed to the state of slavery. To be free is not to be enslaved. While not being enslaved means even potentially not being dominated by somebody else and not being dependent on the arbitrary will of another person.

This understanding of freedom belongs to a completely different discursive tradition than the well known opposition of positive and negative freedom: if freedom is positive – it is freedom “for” something, such as freedom to fulfil oneself, freedom to take your own decisions and participate in determining who you want to be as an individual or as a community; while the negative freedom is freedom “from” something, freedom from movement restrictions, restrictions for your desires and your actions, i.e. it is a kind of freedom understood as the absence of external interference in your affairs.

At the same time, republican freedom also implies an attempt not to dominate over others. Philip Pettit, one of the theorists of republicanism, wrote about freedom as non-domination. This involves avoiding using other people as material for achieving your goals, trying to treat them as your equals, and avoiding situations where you are other people’s master.

The modern republican tradition – as well as the liberal one – emphasizes the inviolability of individual freedoms, but shows that there are different ways to them. That is, the idea of the free city is also complemented with concepts of the unconditional freedom of the individual personality.

Thus, in the republican sense, freedom is presented as restrictions wilfully imposed on oneself. To be free is not necessarily to do whatever you want, or not to be stopped in the realisation of your desires. There is no need to bring it down to the fact that everyone should have an area where they can freely express themselves without others intervening. Freedom is realized in a different way, while simultaneously accepting some common general restrictions.


The concept of how to arrange a free life together is very simple. It was practiced in all the classic republics. You together agree on the rules of life that seem to be acceptable to all; and then you together start to act on these written rules. Here, both components are important: participation in the adoption of laws and regulations in the first place; and their record in the second. For example, if there is no written law (hence no archives and codification), instead of res publica there will emerge another phenomenon described by the Italian term of cosa nostra. In this situation, too, we deal with a cause, thing or matter – cosa (an equivalent of res), but this thing or case is nostra rather than publica. In other words, instead of public and publicity we get some kind of “our cause” when a number of serious and important men govern the community life based on some unwritten rules. These rules are not the same as written law which dominates them all, because they depend on their own, i.e. “our” interpretation.

1.2. Systemic causes that prevent full implementation of the first component of republicanism in practice.

1.2.1. The republican concept of freedom (as non-domination) is contrary to the natural biologically determined result of human interaction in groups, which implies the continuous ranking of participants’ statuses. The latter statement will be further substantiated based on the following approaches: In terms of social psychology, the declared republican principle of freedom directly contradicts contemporary concepts of group dynamics in small groups and contemporary ideas about the psychology of the crowd. In the course of group dynamics, small groups tend to produce informal leaders, who accumulate absolute power over the other members of the groups. Besides, charismatic leaders often have the hypnotic influence on large groups of people (crowds). This results in informal dependence of most small and large group members on those who have leadership qualities and charisma. It is obvious that under such circumstances the formalisation of this dependence is a matter of time, willingness and adroitness of the leaders, because they have sufficient capacity to do so. From the point of view of ethology [5], the principle of non-domination is contrary to the human nature as that of biological beings, where males in the process of reproduction instinctively rank to find the male who proves to be the strongest under the given environmental conditions and grant him access to the reproduction process in order to increase chances of survival for the entire population. Therefore, ranking at the level of libido is an integral part of basic human needs (reproduction) as biological creatures. The presence of two or more males in newly formed groups makes their endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream delivering them to the brain [6], where they trigger corresponding neurohumoral reactions that result in the activation of each ranking participant, taking the form of direct or hidden interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. The activation of interaction participants makes them generate social energy, most of which is spent on initiating, supporting and completing these conflicts. The ranking results in the emergence of informal group leaders with absolute power, who remain active in order to maintain their leadership status in their own group and for intergroup level ranking involving simultaneous passivation of all other members. Thus, ranking in human groups is a systemic process driven by instincts and associated biochemical reactions influencing human behaviour. In our publication [7], we demonstrated how ranking in groups results in the fact that emergent group leaders opt for confrontation strategies in the interaction with other similar groups at the intergroup level, which results in the domination of some human communities (usually small groups) over other ones (usually large groups). In terms of group psychoanalysis, the republican principle of freedom contradicts the unconscious tendency of arbitrary group members to identify among themselves someone to project and transfer the father figure onto in order to overcome their unconscious fear of uncontrolled aggression on the part of the other group members. The further group interaction usually leads to manifestation the Oedipal conflict, which in most cases culminates in the symbolic murder of the “father” and seizure of power by one of the sons and/or the group falling apart. Thus, under normal circumstances, in most cases the group always finds its “father” and endows him with informal absolute power over all other members who associate themselves with “children” dominated by him. The few communities that manage to constructively resolve the Oedipal conflict acquire true autonomy and true maturity and, therefore, the possibility of establishing “res publica”: i.e., free work of a group aimed at arranging their lives without the father figure idealisation, but with the full awareness of the restrictions imposed on the community by life itself. However, it requires that the group should be sufficiently mature, the leader figure should not be painfully narcissistic, the internal environment should be homogeneous in terms of absence, non-emergence and prevention of access thereto of subjects with antagonistic interests, and the external environment should be favourable. The above conditions – especially the factors of internal and external environments, which include existing subject actors pursuing their interests at the expense of the whole group – make the group unstable; they significantly reduce the likelihood of long-term maintenance of its acquired properties characteristic of a “res publica”.

1.2.2. In terms of sociology, the algorithm “you together agree on the rules of life that seem to be acceptable to all; and then you together start to act on these written rules” is contrary to the impact of the “tragedy of the commons” [8] in the interpretation of Garrett Hardin that was rationally explained by Mancur Olson in his work “The Logic of Collective Action” [9]. It implies the failure of any large group to realise their interests even when all participants are aware of them, as opposed to any small group that can successfully implement it. Basically, this means that a large group is incapable of producing, coordinating, adopting and, most importantly, ensuring the implementation of common rules of life that seem to be acceptable to all participants, not to mention their collective further clarification and adjustment. Ranking within large groups always results in the emergence of a small group that will accumulate power in their hands and affect the content of collective decisions according to their vested interests, which are generally contrary to the interests of large groups and the common good. In turn, as a result of the natural course of group dynamics any small group in some time produces an informal leader, who gains the absolute power over other members of the group. In political organisations, the above processes in their entirety fall within the scope of the well-known “iron law of oligarchy” described by Robert Michels [10].

Therefore, the first component of republicanism i.e. a special concept of freedom (as non-domination) – as part of the political myth is an elusive idea that cannot be put into practice within the NATURAL GROUP DYNAMICS due to the systematic reproduction of unfreedom initially by informal, and later by formal submission of interaction participants to the leaders of small and large groups, into which entire society is dynamically structured.

The key word here is “interaction”, which is a derivative of the fourth component of republicanism, i.e. participation (see. below). If there is no interaction, citizens will be quasi-free: they will avoid domination by way of non-participation in public policy, which, in turn, according to classical republicanism scholars, over time will lead to greater bondage. Moreover, the lack of interaction among citizens can result from deliberate government policy: according to Blond [11], the “philosopher” of modern British government, both communism and capitalism atomised people to make it easier to control them.

1.3. Implementation of the first component of republicanism in modern corporations.

The first component of republicanism in modern corporations is partially realised by reducing the employee’s dependence on the will of the manager. This is achieved due to the introduction of organisational changes [12] aimed at: purposeful reduction of the role of management; distribution and dynamic flow of power into the hands of those who have relevant experience and skills; free access to the entire scope of corporate information for all employees and continuous exchange of this information; greater independence and autonomy of employees, who can independently determine their responsibilities; reduction [13] of current mandatory reporting, etc.

That is to say, the implementation of this component in corporations is the result of voluntary actions of the corporate entity – the management, board of directors or director – that knowingly and purposefully manages the group dynamics in general and the emergence and development of intragroup and intergroup conflicts in particular.

1.4. The conditions of implementation of the first component of republicanism in modern political parties and relevant organisational tools.

In our view, the direct use of corporate tools for group dynamics management in the existing political parties will not yield the expected result because of the conflict of interests [15] of their real subject (the managing nucleus or the leader, who, by the way, are in no way protected from external control) and all rank-and-file party members, and, consequently, the social group whose interests the party undertook to defend.

In the first part of our study [2], we hypothesized that to change the quality of existing political parties in general and implement the key components of republicanism within them in practice, it is necessary to change their type of subjectivity: they should transform from biological model systems with one mind into multi-intelligent social model systems capable of deliberate numerical growth without losing their original qualities and of collectively exercising participatory and interactive self-governance with a view to acquiring the capacity for self-learning and self-reconstruction.

This assumption is based on the following.

By applying a systemic approach to analysing socio-psychological effects and processes in primary groups of units of socio-political organisations [15], we identified the critical point – interpersonal and intergroup conflicts as the point for applying “leverage”, i.e. systemic elimination of their likelihood with a view to long-term maintenance of the interaction of elite environment participants in the “equal-to-equal” position.

We believe that long-term cooperation from these positions is the main criterion for the practical implementation of the first component of republicanism – that of non-domination. Note that it is at the conflict stage that the participants’ interaction position dramatically changes – the “equal-to-equal” interaction gives way to the interaction of “a leader with a subordinate”.

Therefore, the basic condition for implementing the first component of republicanism – a special concept of freedom (as non-domination) – implies changing the course of the natural group dynamics in the organisations of “those who care” (see p. 2.1 for the definition) – that is to say in the political organisations of elite groups – in order to prevent interpersonal and intergroup conflicts as a tool for ranking candidates for informal leadership at the elementary level, i.e. in small and large groups that dynamically appear and disappear in such environments.

On the basis of our model of archetype governance of social systems [16], we developed the concept of such “leverage”, i.e. preventing the process of group development from transition to the conflict stage via its long-term retention at the clique formation stage through streamlining their creation process so that participants at each stage interact as representatives of various groups in which they worked at the previous stage rather than as individuals.

In other words, we should maintain the long-term quasi-stable clique formation stage preceding the conflict stage by way of deliberately changing the course [17] of the natural group dynamics through the use of appropriate organisational tools ensuring the dynamic equilibrium of the group at this stage. Obviously, in this case, the long-term maintenance of dynamic equilibrium is only possible in case of cyclic orderly restructuring of small groups (cliques) within a large group based on a specific algorithm able to keep the interaction of participants in the positions of “equal-to-equal” for a long time as determined by necessary situational contexts: they have to always interact as members of other groups, rather than individuals.

This approach correlates well with the situational approach in social psychology proposed by American scholars L. Ross and R. Nisbett in their book “The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology” [18].

The long-term inability of contenders for informal leadership to initiate, maintain, and end the conflict will lead to their long-term interaction without determining an informal leader. This will make it possible to maintain the appropriate biological motivation of group members to interact again and again for the full satisfaction of one of the two components of the biologically preconditioned human reproduction needs – i.e. ranking, generating a sufficient amount of social energy that can be accumulated and streamlined to accomplish external goals of the group.

Thus, the Republican concept of freedom as non-domination essentially means that “those who care” during their interaction within the political organisation have to remain in the position of “equal-to-equal”, which can be implemented only before the conflict stage, i.e. at the stage of clique formation. As it will be shown below, equality in the republican sense implies equal access to decision-making and decision-taking.

Therefore, organisational tools that can provide for a quasi-stable state of group dynamics and establishing a dynamic equilibrium at the clique formation stage through streamlining the processes of their formation and disintegration, in our opinion, include the variable structure – dynamic network [19] to be used in the construction of elite group political organisations as multi-intelligent social model systems so that they could attain their collective subjectivity. Obviously, the use of the variable structure requires that the organisation founders should develop an appropriate organisational culture and all members of the organisation should internalise it.

According to Ukrainian philosopher Serhiy Datsiuk [20], the latter decades has witnessed a narrowing of personal freedom. It is not manifested in captivity per se (various forms of slavery), or restriction of freedom (restriction of rights). Contemporary large-scale and technologically sophisticated forms of informing, advertising, political and social campaigning and propaganda gave rise to the so-called narrowing of freedom – i.e. a situation where technically you have a choice, but the media force a certain option on you. This nullifies the formally present priority of individual rights, which, according to this author, by definition triggers nullification of the rights of human communities.

In our opinion, this narrowing of freedom can be counterbalanced only by information products that are produced collectively within political organisations as a result of an orderly systemic communication of their members within intra-organisational communication platforms involving competent professionals of different profiles. The principle of operation of the aggregate of such platforms as an intelligence multiplier is discussed in our work [21]. Another our publication [22] describes the principle of integrating a plurality of such communication platforms from grassroot structures of political organisations with a variable structure involving a wide range of public activists and politicians at the local level, which will ensure the improvement of quality and dissemination of the collectively produced intellectual product throughout society to counter information manipulation on the part of destructive organisations.


  1. Availability of citizens’ civic virtue (common interests above personal ones)

2.1. The classic interpretation of the second component of republicanism in O. Khardkhordin’s lecture [4].

To fill the republican mechanism with the energy of people, it is necessary to support or maintain their civic virtue. Its corrosion or, in other words, moral decay has been and still remains the main cause of decline, destruction and disappearance of republics at all times.

The virtue corrosion mechanism was well illustrated by Mancur Olson in his book “The Logic of Collective Action” [9], when discussing the problem of the American union. A rational and selfish individual rightly reasons in the following way: “Why should I go somewhere and take part in some meetings, pay dues, if the union anyway achieves all the goals that will bring me good even without my involvement? If I want to minimise my costs and maximise my profits, I should stay at home and let the union achieve the goals and realise my interests, while I will be a free rider”. Mancur Olson called this phenomenon “free riding” and offered some sociological solutions to this problem. In small groups, these are some pressure mechanisms that make people take to the streets and go picket the company gates. However, if we deal with a large group, the only means of solving the problem of involvement that seemed realistic to Olson include such means as “ideology” or “religion”.

The classical republican theory considers two ways of keeping civic virtue.

Tocqueville in his book “Democracy in America” says that “a threat of democratic despotism” will wake up people. According to Tocqueville, such a situation arises when the community is “eroded” by individualism. The term “individualism” was proposed by Tocqueville to denote a certain negative quality, when you withdraw from joint action, instead staying home and quietly minding your personal affairs, which Tocqueville calls in French “petits et vulgaires plaisirs” – little vulgar pleasures. Tocqueville believes that this situation is fraught with the danger of democratic despotism: people deprive themselves of a significant part of the richness of opportunities of their life, because they do not fulfil themselves politically. It all comes down to the joys of private life, while the opportunity to become someone else by jointly participating in determining your own fate just fizzles. Consequently, according to Tocqueville, we gradually get a centralized state headed by rulers who do not really oppress us – no, they humiliate us. They can be even caring, but they provide us with the conditions of life that turn us into cattle given an opportunity to graze well in a meadow. For Tocqueville, this is not a human life because people living under democratic despotism are deprived of exactly the thing that makes us human – i.e. the ability to influence politics described by Aristotle.

Another, a more practical approach was offered Guicciardini and Machiavelli, answering the question – what should be done with life in a republic, where there is a perpetual danger of factional struggle, where the rich and powerful form cliques or parties to capture the res publica and transform it from a public affair into an affair of one person. Their response was different. It’s not that you forget about your human nature when concentrating only on the barbecue and need to be constantly reminded about it, the thing is that there is some game in the republic, which is so fascinating that people get involved in the republican forms of life as they are more interesting than barbecues. This argument has always seemed more realistic – because you can try to attract people to a game that leads to the formation of civic virtue. You need competition, we need an arena for the rich, the talented and the influential to approve themselves within the framework of the republic and they will not overthrow the stage. Otherwise, their energy will be used in an anti-systemic way, and the stage itself will disappear. In other words, the classical republican tradition suggested the following: we must give people an opportunity to play a game that would be meaningful for them, give them a real chance to win and become famous in her lifetime. Then the most talented, the most remarkable and the richest (in the sense of possessing political opportunities) people will realise themselves within this game.

The modern approach to the problem of virtue maintenance was suggested by Alasdair MacIntyre, one of the most interesting contemporary philosophers who in 1980 wrote the book “After Virtue”. According to McIntyre, the pursuit of virtue is not something forgotten or unusual for modern societies. The desire to show bravery, distinguish oneself due to a great deed or virtuoso performance surpassing the achievements of others to leave a footprint in history is still preserved in some areas that are important for all of us, such as art and sports. The question is how we can transfer the practices and excitement of competition for special achievements of virtuoso playing (derived from the term virtu) or valiant life onto the areas that require civic virtue.

A virtuoso life and the desire to outdo others by accomplishing great deeds reveal the characteristics of gaming valour that distinguish it from the boring religious and moral virtue. First of all, art highlights one of the characteristics of the victory in the competition to outperform others. When due to a valiant or virtuoso act you set new standards of achievement in this game, these standards do not cancel the previous ones. The second characteristic of a race for valour (best illustrated by the sports model) consists in the fact that the most significant achievements belong to all at once; this does not generate proprietary issues.

The criticism of such ideas usually comes down to the question: “Why do you think that people will be motivated to play these games in a sphere that requires civic virtue rather than sporting valour?” However, politics is no worse and no better than sports, if we consider it through a game model. There are always some games that we play: some play art games, some play sports games, some compete to become a more successful businessman, some want to become famous in science, some strive to become a better mother, etc. Yes, for a bystander this usually looks like a competition of children playing in the sandbox, trying to literally knock spots off each other. For them, the game is meaningful, while to an onlooker it seems absolutely meaningless. However, this is characteristic of any social game, as shown by Pierre Bourdieu – only being inside it, do you take it and its stakes seriously. This is why politics as competition for outstanding achievement which sets standards for future advances can be as engaging as sports or art.

2.2. Systemic reasons that prevent full realization of the second component of republicanism in practice:

2.2.1. The concentration of power and property in the hands of some individuals or groups described when analysing the previous component of republicanism occurs simultaneously with the process of passivation of the public. As a result, the public is cut off politics and has to settle for petits et vulgaires plaisirs (little vulgar pleasures). We also demonstrated that passivation of the public is due to the completion of the natural ranging processes in small and large groups at all levels of the social system, which automatically turns off the most powerful source of social energy emitted to carry out ranking as one of the components of the most energy intensive need at the biological level of Maslow’s hierarchy, i.e. reproduction. The failure of the great bulk of citizens to produce sufficient social energy, in our opinion, results in corrosion of their civic virtues because of their passivation.

2.2.2. Competition, as the basis of any game, is an extremely fragile cultural archetype of the societal psyche [23]. It almost immediately shifts towards confrontation, and its transition to social cooperation requires considerable energy to overcome the natural resistance on the part of interaction participants who project their ranking process onto any game. In turn, the process of ranking due to its biological nature is a zero-sum game, whereby only the winner gets access to reproduction. Therefore, members of the republican game unconsciously are significantly more likely to opt for a strategy of confrontation in the competitive interaction with each other rather than strategies of cooperation as naturally as a cat easily opens the door by pulling it, while opening it by pushing would require additional training. Systemic opting for confrontation strategies inevitably leads to corrosion of civic virtues. On the other hand, the current model of representative democracy implies competition of elite group organisations for power. In our publications [7, 15, 16 ], we demonstrated that such competition triggers collisions of several hierarchically structured political organisations due to the combined impact of a number of group effects and processes encompassed by reinforcing inverse relationships, which results in a rapid moral degradation of these organisations, hence the spiritual crisis of entire society, its moral and social decline.

2.2.3. Each game (including the republican game) implies the availability of a certain set of rules that all of its participants comply with. Compliance with these rules in the republican arena can be enforced only by a Subject (person or organisation) of sufficient power that deliberately intends to do so. Obviously, this Subject must be immune to corrosion of civic virtue, because otherwise it would be unable to ensure compliance with the rules for a long time. Since the problem of corrosion is recognized as one of the key problems in the republican tradition, it is obvious that in real societies the existing Subjects that would have to and would be able to ensure compliance with the rules for a long time, do not possess the necessary qualities for this, which results in the corrosion of civic virtue.

Therefore, the second component of republicanism – citizens’ civic virtue (common interests above personal ones) – as part of the political myth is an elusive idea, which cannot be put into practice within the NATURAL GROUP DYNAMICS due to the biologically conditioned passivation of public after ranking is complete; due to the fact that in the process of competitive interaction, republican game participants systematically opt for confrontation strategies; and due to lack of an entity with the necessary qualities that could ensure compliance with the rules in the republican arena.

2.3. Implementation of the second component of republicanism in modern corporations.

The second component of republicanism in modern corporations is manifested in the form of shaping corporate identity and loyalty, willingness to work overtime at the expense of free time, a willingness to accept corporate values and operate within the corporate culture established by the founders or owners of the organisation. Its implementation is ensured via deliberate influence on the employees’ behaviour by the tools studied within such disciplines as “Human Resource Management” and “Organisational Behaviour”. Underlying these tools are social and psychological methods of controlling human behaviour and corresponding organisational tools of social and psychological processes in groups to influence them in order to achieve the goals set for the organisation.

2.4. Conditions for implementing the second component of republicanism in contemporary political parties and organisational instruments that can help fulfil this.

By directly introducing the tools to influence behaviour and manage socio-psychological processes that are used in business, political organisations will not achieve the expected result due to the fact that party managers lack the main source of administrative power, i.e. the power to reward and punish party members by changing the scope of their payments.

In our view, the main precondition for implementing the second component of republicanism in political organisations (citizens’ civic virtue (common interests above personal ones)) involves changing the course of their natural group dynamics [15] in a way that would make internal interpersonal and intergroup conflicts among members of these organisations impossible in order to automatically shift their competitive interaction to cooperation. This, on the one hand, would put an end to their further ranking and, therefore, would prevent the further passivation of rank-and-file party members; and, on the other hand, it would allow political organisations to systematically opt for the strategies of cooperation in the process of competitive interaction in the republican arena under representative democracy. Such systemic preference for the strategies of cooperation among interaction participants will, on the one hand, contribute to the long-term preservation of organisation members’ civic virtue (which actually best fits these strategies); and, on the other hand, it will help establish and reproduce rules corresponding to these strategies in the republican arena, and such rules will be complied with automatically without any external control on the part of any guarantors or arbitrators within the framework of paternalism.

When analysing the previous component of republicanism, we offered the best, in our opinion, organisational tool that can change the natural course of group dynamics in units of political organisations. This is the variable structure – dynamic network [19] to be used in the construction of these organisations as multi-intelligent social model systems in order to attain their collective subjectivity as part of larger groups.

It is obvious that large groups compared to small ones tend to be much tougher about keeping the value frame, not allowing their members to violate them. For example, those who readily take the liberty of using foul language in a small group of colleagues are unlikely to swear in a large group. On the other hand, if a small group receives some financial resources for specific tasks, it is more likely to allocate some of the finance to its members than a large group, where there is always someone who will disclose information about such intentions to the public. Similarly, if decisions are made and taken at party meetings, conferences or congresses consisting of large groups, it will be more complicated for their members to retreat from the declared party goals, values and principles that are recorded in program documents compared to the managing nucleus members making up small groups.

According to Ukrainian philosopher Serhiy Datsiuk [20], the biggest problem of modern republics is the loss of civic virtue. Firstly, the common cause has lost its intrastate nature. The common cause, on the one hand, has dispersed among numerous global networks that outdo the intra-national common cause as minor and insignificant; on the other hand, common interests can no longer be identified, they have become blurred and global. Secondly, the common cause has become corporate. The common cause, which was once represented by the state alone, has now become the aggregate cause of transnational corporations. Thirdly, consumer society has turned out to be the archenemy of Republic. Consumer society has destroyed the very conditions for civic virtue, it dispensed with the aspect advocated by Cicero with regard to republic, i.e. the common cause has ceased to be something worth dying for. The new quality of corruption undermines the very essence of the republic. The problem of corruption as the use of public opportunities of the republic for private purposes has shifted to a totally new level. As long as corruption was stimulated by individuals, it could be restricted and somehow endured. Now, that corruption has become, firstly, corporate, secondly, transnational, and thirdly, deeply entrenched and enjoying a global infrastructure, the Republic has vanished as a potential subject for combating corruption. A corruption coup or corruption aberration has taken place – today corporations do not pay republics for using their public capacity, vice versa – national republics use their limited domestic public opportunities to pay for the global public business opportunities of corporations. That is to say, today corporations (which through corporate culture and corporate motivation systems form their common cause) have become global republics to which national republics curry favour. To die for a corporate cause is more honourable than for the national cause. Public authorities have acquired great historical experience of abuse, which is virtually impossible to expose. Financial budget abuse, irrevocable use of infrastructures, preferences in the corporate competition and possibilities of receiving corporate orders from state authorities have significantly undermined the idea of the republic. Meanwhile the failure to expose abuses because of the complexity of financial schemes and their lack of transparency makes the loss of confidence in the republic avalanche-like and irreversible.

In our publication “‘Tragedy of the Commons’ as a System Generating Problem and Ways to Overcome it” [24], we outlined and analysed the “tragedy of the commons” as the underlying cause of the foregoing complex of interrelated problems of modern republics described by Serhiy Datsiuk. We believe that the system generating cause of this complex of problems consists in the lack of proper features of the political organisations that execute power functions under the law of all democratic countries. A solution of these problems, in our opinion, is to create subjective multi-intelligent social model political organisations with the variable structure – dynamic network capable of collective decision-making and decision-taking at all levels, collective management of common resources, systemic control of leaders nominated and elected to representative and executive offices in order to successfully block all attempts of external control. And, most importantly, power, as the total amount of social energy produced by organisation members per time unit should outweigh any power of modern corporations. Our own concept of creation and deployment of such organisations is outlined in our publication [19].



  1. Citizen participation in determining the conditions of social life and relevant collective action

3.1. 2.1. The classic interpretation of the second component of republicanism in O. Khardkhordin’s lecture [4].

The classical republican understanding of participation does not imply everyone coming together to address common problems, but rather everyone having the same chance to get to the main republican positions, primarily by means of lot drawing or through complex mechanisms of multistage nomination of candidates with their screening by lot. That is to say, in classical republics participation is associated with frequent rotation on the key positions of the executive and the judiciary power. Lot drawing was the main mechanism for determining most positions in the executive and judicial authorities in Athens. In the main power body of Florence, the rotation period for the highest nine positions was two months. People were sitting in power for two months because it was clear that a long-term stay on these positions is fraught with numerous temptations. As a result, all of the thousands of freemen had an equal chance of getting this position of power, of course, if they wanted to.

Thus, in the Republican tradition a third type of equality was practiced – the equality of opportunities to influence the common cause. The first type of equality is well known, it is the equality it fundamental conditions, liberal equality: we all take part in a race, and we should be provided with equal conditions before the race. The second type of equality is the equality of results, the socialist equality understood as equality of remuneration received – according to the labour contribution or according to the needs. However, there is a third type of equality outlined by republicans. This is the equality in opportunities to occupy key positions in legislative, executive and judicial power. It seems odd today, when the priority of professionalism has become central to the political system, but it is a standard that guided classic republics. If we try to express it in modern terms, we can say that the republic is the equality of those who care. That is, those who are interested in living in the city should have equal opportunities to gain access to key positions of power.

Such approaches defined the basic problem of participation in classical republics. Equal access was available only for freemen, while large groups were debarred from governance. That is to say, classical republics had a tendency for oligarchic decay.

3.2. Systemic reasons that prevent from full-fledged implementation of the third component of republicanism in practice:

3.2.1. Robert Michels described the “iron law of oligarchy” [10], consisting in the concentration of power and property in the hands of the managing nucleus accompanied with passivation of the public. It basically prevents the realization of the concept of equal access to positions of power inside political organisations that form the government under the laws of democratic countries through nomination of candidates, as well as in power bodies themselves. As explained above, Michels’ law of “oligarchy” is triggered by the natural group dynamics in human societies, which, in turn, is due to the biological nature of man, and this law is consequential to a more general mechanism – i.e. the “tragedy of the commons”.

3.2.2. Citizen participation in determining the conditions of social life and the relevant collective action is undermined by the very “tragedy of the commons”, which was logically substantiated by Mancur Olson in his work “The Logic of Collective Action” (see above). If there are a lot of “of those who care”, most of them are exposed to the “free ride” temptation, when each contribution is so insignificant that even without investing it, they can use the benefits of the shared resource, i.e. the republic.

3.2.3. Citizen participation in defining common living conditions and the relevant joint action is invalidated because of the main drawback of representative democracy inherent in the principle of delegation: he who delegates his power function, by definition, becomes dependent on those to whom he delegated the power. This phenomenon is thoroughly explained by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu in his work “Delegation and Political Fetishism” [25]. The above defect, preventing the implementation of the first component of republicanism (a special concept of freedom as non-domination), deprives citizens of the influence on the course of affairs in the republic and undermines their joint participation in determining the conditions of social life and relevant joint action. This, as well as systemic features of hierarchically structured political organisations [26] results in the negative selection whereby it is easier to get to the top of the hierarchy for those who can violate common values and morality for the sake of their career growth.

Therefore, the third component of republicanism – participation of citizens in determining the conditions of social life and in collective action – as part of the political myth is an elusive idea, which cannot be put into practice within the NATURAL GROUP DYNAMICS triggering the law of “oligarchy” described by Michels due to its course; due to the “tragedy of the commons”, appearing as a result of the “free ride” temptation for most of “those who care”; due to the deprivation of citizens of any influence on decision-making in the republic as a result of the main shortcoming of representative democracy consisting in the automatic dependence of those who delegate their power on those to whom it is delegated.

3.3. Implementation of the third component of republicanism in contemporary corporations.

The third component of republicanism – the participation of citizens in determining the conditions of social life and the relevant collective action – is manifested in modern corporations as involvement of the largest possible number of employees in exercising collective strategic planning and participation in quality circles, innovative project teams, etc. For example, the famous scholar Russell Ackoff in his works represents his views of management as interactive (based on interaction) and participatory (involving all concerned individuals, groups, forces) planning of the corporate activity [27]. Another author Lynda Gratton [29] believes that the most effective way to tackle the tasks of corporations involves focusing on the human factor and offers a range of tools for collective strategizing.

3.4. Conditions for implementing the third component of republicanism in contemporary political parties and organisational instruments that can help fulfil this.

Should political organisations directly introduce the business tools for widest possible involvement of as many employees as possible in collective management, they will, of course, witness significant positive results even without any reorganisation. However, as long as the decision to use them is taken by the managing nucleus formed in accordance with Michels’ law of “oligarchy” [10], there will always be a threat that they will cease this practice in manual mode under some pretexts.

In our view, the main condition for the implementation in political organisations of the third component of republicanism – participation of citizens in determining the conditions of social life and the relevant joint action – requires changing the course of their natural group dynamics in a way that would suspend Michels’ law of “oligarchy” by preventing initiation, progress and completion of the internal interpersonal and intergroup conflict as tools to capture informal leadership. This would make it possible to maintain for a long time the motivation for cooperation generated by the need for reproduction from the most energy-consuming biological level of Maslow’s pyramid (see details above). High levels of this motivation, in turn, would allow members of political organisations to overcome the “free ride” temptation and thus neutralize the effects of the “tragedy of the commons” in political organisations.

The above-mentioned problem of representative democracy, which implies dependence of those who delegated their power on those to whom it was delegated, cannot be solved within the contemporary dominant organisational paradigm that views the political system as a biological model with one mind. It cannot be settled because they see delegation as, perhaps, the only tool for legitimising this “one mind”, authorising it to exert power on behalf of the party masses, and actualises paternalism as the basis of their characteristic organisational culture.

We are not considering the possibility of replacing delegation in political organisations with lot drawing because we share the reservation of researchers and critics of the republican tradition concerning the necessary qualifications of people appointed in such a manner.

In our opinion, the problem of delegating can be neutralised only by changing the organisational paradigm in the construction of political organisations: they should transform from biological model systems with one mind into multi-intelligent social model systems capable of deliberate numerical growth without losing their original qualities and able to collectively exercise participatory and interactive governance with a view to acquiring the capacity for self-learning and self-reconstruction.

In such organisations, delegating is replaced with appointment implemented at every level by a collective organisational multi-intelligent Subject – meetings, conferences, congresses composed of large groups of people. This Subject does not need any legitimisation, it is legitimate due to the very fact of its existence. Its designees get powers limited by the scope of the project management that provides the foundation for the executive departments of such organisations, for example, by the scope and area of tasks assigned to them and the time frame for their implementation. Lack of delegation should encourage a positive selection in these organisations because political appointments to senior positions will be implemented by a collective Subject with access to the most comprehensive intra-organisational information. Thus, the most competent and honest party members will be appointed.

We believe that the organisational tool that can help fully implement the third component of republicanism (citizen participation in determining the conditions of social life and the relevant collective action) in political organisations is the variable structure – dynamic network that was described above when analysing the first two components of republicanism. Its use will change the natural course of group dynamics in all units of political organisations, will help to overcome Michels’ law of “oligarchy”, neutralise manifestations of the “tragedy of the commons” and transform them into multi-intelligent social model systems with collective subjectivity.


  1. Social recognition of the significance and value of individual contributions as the basis for the sense of purpose in social life


4.1. The Classic interpretation of the fourth component of republicanism in Khardkhordin’s lecture [4].

In his book “De officiis”, Cicero examines various types of human communities and says that “…Parents are dear; dear are children, relatives, friends; but one native land embraces all our loves ; and who that is true would hesitate to give his life for her”.

As Hannah Arendt showed in her writings in the twentieth century, this statement comes from a very simple and rational political interest in ancient political (in this case Roman) life. When the Romans – largely mundane proprietors, soldiers, legislators – brought the elevated Greek philosophical thought down to their earth, they could not come up with anything that could motivate a selfish individual. This statement is not just the familiar call to give their lives for their country, or pro patria mori. It is also a statement that certain types of individual achievements are possible only within strictly determined activity units. For example, any meaningful claims to immortality are possible only within the framework of actions in certain arenas.

Nowadays, of course, the most important communication takes place within our family or friend circles. Letters, conversations and what happens within these groups determines our personal horizon of existential importance. That is to say, when constructing the most important meaning in our lives we rely on the facts from these particular areas. For a Roman republican or for citizens of classical Renaissance and early modern period republics, it was different. Families and friends are certainly important, but there is only one kind of community that can produce stories with the potential of capturing the deeds of the most distinguished people. It was – res publica. Other community levels were simply unable to do so. Hence the above Cicero’s statement: man is willing to sacrifice his life only within the arena that can appreciate it.

Hannah Arendt highlights the difference between modernity and antiquity. Now, when we are 25 years old, of course, we do not think about what will come after us. But the closer we are to 45 or 65 years, the more often the question arises: “What mark will we make on eternity?” In ancient times, according to Arendt, people didn’t care about eternity – this concern was brought in by Christianity, rather they were concerned about immortality, which was usually available only to the gods. Mortals couldn’t achieve it by definition. However, there was one kind of arena where Greeks and Romans could do something that brought them closer to the gods, to immortality. It was precisely the Republican arena. For it is there, only at that level that stories were produced with the potential to stay on for a while, and maybe even for centuries.

When Arendt describes the types of action that can yield a meaningful life story that will remain for posterity, she highlights two characteristics. First, the kind of collective action that creates meaningful life stories and sets targets for further play automatically generates a sense of what is happening to those involved. The problem of meaninglessness of life as a deep existential philosophy discretion arose as a result of destruction of the arenas arranged based on the principle of res publica. Those who live within these arenas – i.e. the arenas that capture and recognize examples of a meaningful life – generate this sense automatically, without notice. In other words, a set of such stories creates the horizon of meaningfulness: the real (political) action creates the sense just as naturally as a silk moth produces thread.

The other aspect mentioned by Arendt refers to the fact that life within these arenas can be seen as politics in its original sense, as authentic political life. Politics is not about defacement of the opponent during the election campaign, neither is it about spiders fighting in a jar for a share of the national budget. Politics is not a competition of paid articles in the press or a struggle for redistribution of property. Politics is viewed here based on the implications of the very word that gave rise to the term, i.e. the model of “polis”.

According to Khardkhordin, the basic method of generating the desire for recognition of individual contributions by society consists in promotion of republican values, including rational selfishness – only in the Republican arena can one leave something for prosperity. Therefore, by abstaining from participation in the life of the republic you deprive yourself of your due share.

4.2. Systemic causes that prevent full implementation of the fourth component of republicanism in practice:

4.2.1. Social recognition of the importance and value of individual contributions as the basis meaningfulness of social life is problematic in societies dominated by biological model political organisations with one mind, where due to the natural group dynamics power is concentrated in the hands of leaders who become intermediaries between citizens and society, regulating their right to be recognized for their contributions to the common cause as the leaders think fit.

4.2.1. Social recognition of the importance and value of individual contributions as the basis for meaningfulness of social life is problematic in large groups because of the “tragedy of the commons”, which was logically substantiated by Mancur Olson in his work “The Logic of Collective Action” [9] (see above). Each contribution necessary for implementation is so insignificant compared to the combined effort required that most community members lose the motivation to make their contribution because they understand that no one will ever recognize their efforts. They realize that only by making something extraordinary will they make a mark on eternity in the republican arena.

4.2.2. The readiness to die for the republic for the sake of recognition is not a sufficient condition for citizens to exercise their daily grind of work for the prosperity of the republic. Especially when this work should be done by all. In which case, it does not acquire the necessary importance, one that could make it qualify for recognition in the republican arena.

The fourth component of republicanism – recognition by society of the significance and value of individual contributions – as part of a political myth is the ideal that is difficult to put into practice within the NATURAL GROUP DYNAMICS due to the fact that as a result of this dynamics power is concentrated in the hands of leaders, making them intermediaries between the citizen and society, governing the right of everyone to recognition; due to “the tragedy of the commons”, making everybody’s contributions negligible compared to the combined effort needed, which eliminates the sense of the individual contribution; because of the tendency of the republican arena to recognize only big deeds, which undermine the sense of the daily grind for the good of the republic that should be performed by all citizens.

4.3. Implementation of the fourth component of republicanism in contemporary corporations.

The fourth component of republicanism – recognition by society of the significance and value of individual contributions as the basis of the meaningfulness of social life in modern corporations is at the heart of the progressive wage system and formation of intangible motivations in staff. It involves a comprehensive evaluation and systematic monitoring of the personal contribution of each employee, each manager and each department.

4.4. Conditions for implementing the fourth component of republicanism in contemporary political parties and organisational instruments that can help fulfil this.

If political organisations directly introduce business tools for moulding intangible motivations and a progressive payment system for certain types of work, it will, of course, yield significant positive results. However, as long as leaders remain intermediaries between citizens and the republic, as long as they can determine the right to recognition of every citizen, there will always be the threat of turning it into a tool for loyalty formation and suppression of dissent.

Therefore, the basic precondition for implementation of the fourth component of republicanism in political organisations (recognition by society of the significance and value of individual contributions as the basis of the meaningfulness of social life), in our opinion, implies changing the course of their natural group dynamics in a way that would prevent the concentration of power in the hands of leaders and, therefore, deprive them of the mediation function between all party members and the entire party community in the process of recognition of individual contributions.

For biological model political organisations with one mind, it is impossible to change the course of natural group dynamics and neutralise the “tragedy of the commons” that makes personal contributions negligible compared with the cumulative effort required. This can be implemented only in multi-intelligent social model organisations that were discussed above when analysing the previous components of republicanism.

It is only such organisations that can grant systemic monitoring and evaluation of the contribution of each participant. These processes are the basic components of the mechanism of recognition, so they should be layered, crosscutting and continuous. First of all, the individual contribution of each member of the party should be systematically monitored and assessed, which can be implemented in practice only if these members continuously stay and work in a number of small groups of different functional designation that, in turn, act as subjects implementing “invisible” monitoring and evaluation of individual contributions (according to the “Logic of Collective Action” by Mancur Olson [9]). At the same time, monitoring and evaluation of the contribution of each permanent or temporary unit should be implemented by collective multi-intelligent subjects of the political organisation at the local, regional and central levels through integration of the relevant processes in a unified algorithm of their activities.

It is worth noting that at the macro level, the main components of the multilevel monitoring and evaluation of political organisations and their divisions involve public recognition (through the mechanism of election inter alia) of their contribution in the development of the entire republic, as well as institutional mechanisms of adequate intra-party response to its results.

The material remuneration for the activity of members of political parties and their units deserves special attention. Obviously, creation of intellectual products (such as drafting laws) requires long, complex and systematic work of many members of the party that should be adequately rewarded.

In our view, the principle of fairness of such remuneration will not be violated only in multi-intelligent social model organisations, where the collective Subject determines the priorities of activity through strategic planning, searches for and allocates financial resources according to these priorities, as well as monitors the process and results of work performed by project teams that receive funding. Our vision of the principles of financing of political organisations was outlined here [29].

We believe that the organisational tool that can provide for full-fledged implementation of the fourth component of republicanism (social recognition of the importance and value of individual contributions as the basis of meaningfulness of social life) in political organisations is the above-mentioned variable structure – dynamic network. Specific aspects of its creation and deployment on the basis of multi-intelligent social model political organisations were described here [19].




It is hardly possible to transform Ukraine into a real modern Republic that operates based on Khanakhan’s four components of the republican tradition just like that with a swoop through Maidans and revolutions, for these institutions cannot acquire full subjectivity and implement the necessary reforms.

Construction of a Republic should begin with the creation of crystallization centres – multi-intelligent social model political organisations, which make it possible to systemically implement the four components of republicanism by changing the natural course of group dynamics in the primary groups of all party units. Changing the course of group dynamics in natural units of political organisations is possible only if appropriate organisational tools are used for their creation and construction, such as the variable structure – dynamic network.

Under favourable circumstances, Ukrainian society will restructure itself following the example of successful crystallization centres, which will enable Ukraine to acquire all the qualities of a modern Republic.

The first realistic step to building a Ukrainian Republic in the present situation might involve a reorganisation of the governing bodies of the existing political parties, introducing changes in their statutory documents by increasing their number to a large group (over 20 people) organising their work based on relevant algorithms and securing the necessary management functions for their permanent institutionalised internal units.

Creation of subjective political organisations as multi-intelligent social model systems based on the republican tradition, which includes the four components described by Khonokhan is quite a feasible task for Ukrainian civil society activists and politicians. They can get down to solving this task immediately – here and now without any oligarchic funding, without sacral charismatic leaders with claims to absolute power, without manipulative political technologies, etc. All they need is learn, master and systemically reproduce the new organisational culture within their collective activity.




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Грудень 24, 2016 - Posted by | Динамічні мережі |

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