N-Tuple of Helices

  • Loet LeydesdorffEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6616-1_200002-2



As a generalization of a biological double helix and an institutional triple helix, the n-tuple of helices is based on Luhmann’s distinction of symbolically generalized media and codes of communication that are considered functionally differentiated as the economy, polity, science, etc. In response to Carayannis and Campbell’s (2009) introduction of a quadruple helix and the further extension to a quintuple helix by Carayannis and Campbell (2010), Leydesdorff (2012) argued that an n-tuple of helices can be expected in a pluriform and differentiated society.

The metaphor of a triple helix (TH) of university-industry-government relations (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff 2000) more or less invites proposals to extend the model to more than three helices (Bunders et al. 1999). In a discussion which focused on bringing “society” or “the public” back into the model as a fourth helix, Leydesdorff and Etzkowitz (2003) argued that the helices represent...


Civil Society Intellectual Property Innovation System Social Communication Institutional Setting 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • David F. J. Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty for Interdisciplinary StudiesAlpen-Adria-University KlagenfurtViennaAustria