Adequate Information Management in Europe (AIM)

AIM Project Overview - A to Z: Theoretical framework

Other than some critics have meant it has to be stated that the theoretical framework of the AIM project is not normative. Obviously these critics have inferred some inherent thinking taken from the title of the project: Adequate Information Management in Europe. The theory behind the project, however, had not been to come up with a Yes or No to a seemingly implicit question.

The theoretical implications of the project, instead, go back to modes and measures of rationality that govern wide spans of political life - and its analysis. That type of rationality is an implicit element of modernisation. It had been the initial discovery and the strong reflective backbone of social science in the second half of the 19th century. The implications of questioning (a) European public sphere(s) is directly linked to this kind of heritage. The public sphere is an indicator of a particular step in the process of modernization. The structures, frameworks, routines and actions of the daily processes that constitute a public sphere in general, thus, reflect a mode of rationality that still generates its particular stance, even if called post Max Weberian. Within this large segment of possible analytical reflection of the public sphere the AIM project has engaged in the study of one segment, i.e. information management, in the sense of a re-construction of the implicit rationale making the daily news processes in Europe work. The underlying hypotheses of the project had been that there are two rather different systems engaged: the news systems and the European institutional communication system - both with extreme differing rationales - as it turned out. The provocative "adequate", hence, is leading questions to the relations of these two rationales - on the background of underlying general rationality. - A subsequent theoretical debate from there on is to been seen within the context of an ongoing discourse within various sectors of the social sciences: from political science, to sociology, communications sciences, and also journalism.

© AIM 2004, 2005