CFP | Ludwig von Bertalanffy: legacies, traces, reverberations and amplifications | Systems Research and Behavioral Science

Call for papers to a special issue of

Systems Research and Behavioral Science on “Ludwig von Bertalanffy: legacies, traces, reverberations and amplifications. Commemorating the man and the work 50 years after ‘General System Theory'”

Guest editors Kristof Van Assche (University of Alberta), Vladislav Valentinov (University of Halle-Wittenberg), and Gert Verschraegen (University of Antwerp)

We would like to invite submissions to a special issue dedicated to the memory of Ludwig von Bertalanffy, one of the founders of general system theory, a towering figure in the history of systems thinking. His synthetic and seminal work ‘General System Theory’ was published 50 years ago, and its influence can still be felt, in many disciplines, and in the inter- disciplinary field of systems thinking.

Bertalanffy made a mark on biology, psychology, management studies, information science, engineering and many other fields. We invite contributions which can shed light on the influence of Bertalanffy’s key ideas on their discipline or field, as well as engagements with key concepts of his theory, their transformations and applications, reflections on his position in systems thinking, on the enduring potential of his ideas to cross bridges between disciplines.

We further encourage papers engaging with key concepts in current trans-disciplinary debates, debates on overarching societal challenges. Systems thinking in the spirit of Bertalanffy still has much to say about sustainability, resilience, adaptive governance, socio- technical transitions, to name a few. All too easily these concepts have been reduced to narrow technically interpretations or conversely, dismissed as empty signifiers. Going back to von Bertalanffy’s work, and some of the people building on his legacy, can help in finding a middle ground, can help to navigate those debates and the actual challenges they represent.

Contributors can choose between either a short reflection, ca 2000 words, or a full paper, ca 5-6000 words. Short reflections do not require an abstract. All contributions will be peer reviewed. Please follow the style and formatting requirements of the journal.

August 1st is deadline for submission. Please submit your papers to one of the guest editors, NOT directly to the journal.

For questions and to bounce off ideas, please address one of the guest editors:

Prof Kristof Van Assche:
Prof Vladislav Valentinov:
Prof Gert Verschraegen:


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