Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘Elke Fein’

Strategy as Emergence: Reviewing the Practice Turn in Social, Organizational and Leadership Studies from an Integral Perspective

Elke Fein

Abstract: Practice perspectives are increasingly popular in many social sciences. Moreover, the practice turn (PT) has gained influence across various disciplines as a novel epistemological and research perspective. It claims to be able to better explain the workings of social action, among them leadership phenomena in organizations, due to a detailed look onto the micro level. Due to their focus and epistemology, they also claim to be able to better describe and analyze the complexity of social action than more traditional individualistic or institutional approaches. This paper therefore takes a closer look at some of the epistemological claims made by practice perspectives, based on integral epistemological concepts and tools. It proposes a selective discussion of the PT’s genuine epistemological value, as well as potential shortcomings, blind spots and limitations.

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Adult Development Theory and Political Analysis: An Integral Account of Social and Political Change in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia

Elke Fein

Abstract: I propose a reading of social, political and discursive change in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia which is inspired by an integral, above all developmental perspective. In view of explaining Russia’s current political trajectory, I make several arguments. First, I claim that Russian politics are still to a large extent determined by the effects of a threefold crisis of sense-making. Neither the collapse of the Soviet empire, nor the question of how to define democratic government nor the lack of a resilient national identity have so far been resolved and re-appropriated in a transformative manner. Second, I try to show how this affects various aspects and dimensions of Russian politics. Third, I engage in a brief overview of a number of adult development models, asking to what extent and how the characteristics of consciousness development, particular stage characteristics, and the general logics and dynamics of successful and unsuccessful development these models describe can be helpful to the analysis of Russian politics. Also, I discuss their compatibility and parallels with discourse theory and analysis as an increasingly popular methodology in Russian Studies. Of the developmental models reviewed, the theory of political development by Stephen Chilton and the self-protective action logic in Susanne Cook-Greuter’s model of self and identity development are particularly relevant for my purpose. On these grounds, it is argued that since Vladimir Putin’s taking office as Russian president and later prime-minister, politics and (official) political discourse have increasingly come to follow self-protective action logics as conceived by Susanne Cook-Greuter. This diagnosis, which could either be understood as a regression or as a realignment of internal and external dimensions of political development, can be explained as a reaction to Russia’s crisis of identity followed by a loss of internal stability and international influence connected to the dislocations mentioned above.

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Integral Politics: A Swiss Perspective

Elke Fein and Hans-Peter Studer

Abstract: This article tells the story of the Swiss NGO “Integrale Politik (ip)” founded by about 20 people in November 2007 with the aim of becoming a regular political party at a later stage (www.integrale-politik.ch). We wish to make ip’s concepts and approaches known to a wider public. Inspired by integral thinkers such as Jean Gebser and Ken Wilber, ip develops its own ideas and interpretations of integral in view of the concrete challenges of Swiss and European politics.

Integral political culture is understood, for example, as including practices addressing all senses, turning political commitment into an experience of meaningful activity and an expression of joy, ease and celebrating life. One of the most important challenges currently faced by the group is to perpetuate and further develop this working culture as the organization grows. Its success in doing this seems to be one of the main reasons for ip’s attractiveness to the Swiss cultural creative sector in general and the growing integrally-minded community in particular to whom it gives an increasingly visible face and a clear-cut voice. At the same time, the Swiss political system offers particularly favourable preconditions and thus, a fruitful ground for new political ideas and experiments such as this integral political one.

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