Abstract: A critical issue in the study of scientific communication from a systems theoretical perspective is its role in multiple intersystem relationships. During COVID-19, politics has adopted scientific findings to inform political decisions. However, science has in response actively coordinated its operations for providing desired stimuli to politics. Luhmann identified advice as a form of structural coupling that links political and scientific systems. Advice is not a monolithic intervention by which one side acts on the other but is rather an interface that enables the two systems to relate through distancing. In this article, I empirically illustrate how the structural coupling of the political system and scientific system through advice manifests itself in an examination of the roles that various organizations (expert meeting and cluster task forces) have played in Japan’s response to COVID-19. Through this analysis, I provide a theoretical insight regarding these organizations and a more detailed case analysis of the transformation of certain organizations to re-describe the system theoretical insights of advice in the form of scientific communication between politics and science.
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Recommended citation: Sakai, K. (2023). Advice as a Form of Structural Coupling: Intersystem Organizations and Scientific Communication in the Japanese Response to COVID-19. Systemic Practice and Action Research, ahead-of-print.