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Главная » 2014 » Июль » 10 » Вышла в свет книга Network Structures in Biological Systems and in Human Society / A new biopolitical book has been published
Вышла в свет книга Network Structures in Biological Systems and in Human Society / A new biopolitical book has been published

Опубликована и доступна книга по одному из важных разделов биополитики -- сетевым структурам как междисциплинарному понятию, приложимому к биосистемам, техническим устройствам, человеческому социуму. Ниже дается информация о книге и резюме на английском языке.

A book on one of the major subfields of biopolitics, network structures, is finally available. Network structures are based on interdisciplinary concepts, which are applicable to biological and technical systems as well as to human society. The following is the information concerning the book and its summary in English.

Alexander V. Oleskin. (2014). Network Structures in Biological Systems and in Human Society. Haupauge (New York): Nova Science Publishers.

This book focuses on network structures in biological systems and in human society. The term “network structure” is used in the literature in at least two different meanings. The broader meaning (denoted by this author as a network sensu lato) refers to any system composed of nodes (vertices) connected by links (edges). In terms of this interpretation, the analytical tools that deal with centrality measures, clustering- and community structure-related criteria, small-world behavior, and other network characteristics have provided important insights into the organization and functioning of various objects, including biological systems and human society.

However, there is a narrower interpretation of the term “network” that is predominantly used in the social sciences: a network structure is a decentralized, non-hierarchical system that is regulated by cooperative interactions among its nodes (a network sensu stricto). An example can be found in the Internet, which is largely based on this principle. In this work, the term “networks” is interpreted in the latter sense.

The characteristics of  networks are considered in this work in comparison to other types of structures that are denoted as (1) hierarchical (vertical, pyramidal) structures characterized by a single dominant activity center (central leader, pacemaker); and (2) (quasi-)market structures dominated by competitive, rather than cooperative, interactions among the actors involved. This is an interdisciplinary work because the three organizational structures are considered with respect to biological systems and to human society, including its political system.

In the book, much emphasis is placed on interconversions and interactions between structures of different types. Disharmonious interactions between these structures pose the threat of the destruction of the system(s) involved. As far as human society is concerned, this issue is not merely of theoretical interest; recent history provides important examples that demonstrate the economic, social, and political consequences of the hierarchy–network–market imbalance.

The book also demonstrates that network structures, as well as hierarchies and quasi-markets, are widely spread in various forms of life, ranging from unicellular organisms to Homo sapiens. Decentralized network structures enable efficient behavioral coordination in the biosocial systems (groups, colonies, families, communities) of individuals belonging to diverse taxa. These network structures can be subdivided into several different organizational subtypes. In this book, they are exemplified by the cellular (“microbial”), modular (“cnidarian”), equipotential (“shoal”), eusocial (“ant”), neural, and egalitarian (“ape”) paradigm. Different paradigms actually represent different vantage points from which researchers consider relevant biosocial systems of animals. All of these paradigms are necessarily anthropomorphic to some extent, i.e., they liken animals to humans.

Therefore, it is relatively easy to extrapolate all six of the aforementioned paradigms to human society. In terms of synergetics, they represent “attraction points,” which are approached by human network structures under certain conditions. However, while nonhuman organisms simply exist in specific (sub)types of network structures, humans are capable of creatively combining and modifying them. Moreover, they can create uniquely human organizational scenarios in conformity with various social and political technologies.

Special emphasis is placed on the actual and potential applications of networks with respect to interdisciplinary scientific labs, creative teams of students in classrooms pertaining to innovative and interactive educational scenarios, business enterprises, groups of environmental and educational activists, and various kinds of political organizations, as exemplified by think-tanks and public policy centers, as well as revolutionary and protest organizations, e.g., the Zapatistas in Mexico and the worldwide alter-globalist movement.

The involvement of network structures in the development of civil society and the accumulation of social capital is underscored. Even though the book does not provide detailed recipes for the development of network structures, it is hoped that the information provided by this text will help innovative educators, scientific enthusiasts, environmental activists, political reformers, and all others interested in establishing decentralized, non-hierarchical, and cooperative structures to successfully carry out their creative organizational plans in different spheres of human society.

This work can also be used as a guidebook on network structures that is intended for high school, college, and university students specializing in the life sciences (including ecology, microbiology, ethology, and neurology), medicine, sociology, political science, management theory, psychology, and philosophy. For this purpose, the book offers a glossary; most of the sections in this book include italicized summaries for the students to use to recap the basic concepts that are discussed in this book.


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