In the last two decades, the contours of a critical systems theory have been emerging against the background of fundamental criticisms of Luhmannian systems theory. This development seems to introduce a new paradigm shift in systems theory, renouncing its claimed normative neutrality in favour of a normative stance. This chapter explores the criticisms that triggered the normative turn in systems theory and the two main methods employed to formulate a critical systems theory, i.e. normative completion and normative excavation. The author argues that normative excavation is the suitable route to travel as it elicits the critical potential already inherent in Luhmannian systems theory.