Who is Talking? Some Remarks on Nonhuman Agency in Communication

Till Jansen

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Nonhuman agency has become an increasingly important issue in communication theory. While the approach proposed by the Montreal School has advanced research in the subject to a remarkable degree, it does not take reflexivity of actors into account. On the one hand, this makes the identification of actors to a certain degree arbitrary and the concept of actors too wide. On the other hand, it underestimates actors as it neglects actors' capacity to propose their own ontology. In order to cope with these issues while maintaining the notion of nonhuman agency as proposed by Cooren et al., I would like to propose a de-ontologized notion of communication and agency based on the work of Gotthard Günther (e.g. 1976a, 1979a) and Niklas Luhmann.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunication Theory
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)255–272
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Ventriloquism
  • Agency
  • Systems Theory
  • Nonhuman Agency
  • Communicative Constitution of Organizations

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