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PartnershipsMachines of possibility$
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Niels Akerstrom Andersen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420268

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420268.001.0001

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Partnerships as tentative structural coupling

Partnerships as tentative structural coupling

(p.111) Seven Partnerships as tentative structural coupling

Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen

Policy Press

Partnerships can hardly be said to establish communities across boundaries, contrary to the ideals contained in the semantics of partnerships. However, they enable structural couplings between different function systems and with qualities that are significantly different from first-order contracts. Politics communicates about first-order contracts as a tool for implementation and about second-order contracts as a political constitutional form. The service-producing systems communicate about first-order contracts as a programme for services and about second-order contracts as a programme for subsequent service programming. The shift from the first order to the second order fundamentally changes the character of the structural coupling. This chapter characterises partnerships as a political constitution, as segmented markets, as programmes for development, and as reflexive law.

Keywords:   partnership, structural coupling, semantics, function, contract

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