Chapter 1: Introduction
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The Introduction argues that, in order to navigate the coming transitions democratically and in the interest of the many, contemporary societies need to look at themselves as organizational societies and to redefine organizations. This redefinition requires clarifying the contrast between bureaucracy and collegiality as two orthogonal ideal types helping members activate organized collective action and manage cooperation dilemmas: the first accounts for activation of collective agency made up of routine tasks, with hierarchical coordination and impersonal interactions; the second for innovative tasks, with committee work among peers and personalized relational infrastructures. The book presents social change as the outcome of combination and permanent struggles between the two logics. Understanding these combinations uses a stratigraphic approach, analyses of multilevel networks, and normative controversies. Concepts such as “bottom up collegiality”, “top down collegiality” and “inside-out collegiality” encapsulate key dimensions of these combinations. In these dynamics, combining both logics requires activating multilevel relational infrastructures (such as “vertical linchpins” and “vertical social niches”), that is, creating specific social positions that strengthen agency at several levels simultaneously. The book explores the central role that actors in such positions play in social change, for example in the political economy and in social stratification, but also some consequences of the current digitalization of society for this activation.