Kampen om Alternativet: En systemteoretisk analyse af Alternativets interne kommunikation og organisering

Jonas Okkels Pedersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis is based on the thoughts surrounding the new political movementsthatare emerging around the world. Several of these social movements are grounded in civil society, and have latermovedinto the parliaments or other powerful arenas. With that in mind, this thesis want to examine The Alternative’sinternalcommunication and organization, and how it haschanged after they got elected to the Danish Parliament in 2015. The question sought answered in the thesis is; “How does The Alternative’s internal communication address the term ‘alternative’ and which consequences do this have for their organization and communication moving forward?”The thesis uses Niklas Luhmann’s system theory as a theoretical framework to construct three systems –The Alternative, The Party and The Movement. This structure is made to facilitate an analysis of the internal organization and communication of The Alternative. Furthermore, the analyses are based on an empirical backdrop with 9 interviews, as well as the functional method, grounded in the approach of the system theory.The communication of The Alternative enters a paradoxical state after the election, because they have to function under the rules and cultures, which they were created against and want to change. Therefore they displace the paradox of how to communicate ‘alternatively’ in their new state, to The Party and The Movement. The two ascribe different meanings to the term ‘alternative’, due to the contrasting contingency constraints that they experience. The differences manifest itself in Trust, Time and Knowledge. This paralyzes the organization, as they can’t communicate in contrasting ascriptions. Therefore The Alternative has to manage the two systems. At first they try to converge the ascriptions, but this creates the risk of separating one of the systems from the organization. Instead they have to manage the ascriptions decoupled, to instigate trust throughout the organization, and thereby get the best of both systems. This kind of management is comparable to one of the most established kinds of management methods called ‘welfare management’, that has been used since the late 80’s in the Danish public sector –thereby cracking the alternative management facade.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages86
SupervisorsEmil Husted