Sphere sovereignty in late-modern society and social theory

R.J. van Putten

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This paper analyses to which extent the concept of sphere sovereignty, as developed by Kuyper and Dooyeweerd, is relevant for the understanding of late modern society. The central topic therefore is sphere sovereignty as view on social order. Firstly, I argue the urgency of studying the social-theoretical relevance of sphere sovereignty, because it has become uncertain whether the concept of social order presented in the idea of sphere sovereignty is still relevant or adequate. Secondly, I make a start with sketching the relevance of sphere sovereignty in relation to the current discourse of social order, with special attention to implications for governance theory. Here I argue that sphere sovereignty indeed can be reconnected with the theoretical discourse of late modern social order, and that the idea of normative social structures and plurality have something important to add to social theory and to governance theory. Eventually, this paper seeks a comeback of the tradition of sphere sovereignty in the social sciences at de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2016
EventInternational Conference Christian Philosophy - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 15 Aug 201619 Aug 2016


ConferenceInternational Conference Christian Philosophy
Internet address


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