Saturday, December 10, 2022

Revising Habermas’s colonisation thesis

Forthcoming in "European Journal of Social Theory":

* Regina Kreide - "Social critique and transformation: Revising Habermas’s colonisation thesis" [Open access]


What is critical theory – and what is it not? This essay attempts a new answer to this old question and examines which normative convictions immanent to social reality can be used to describe, analyse and criticise contemporary, global forms of domination that form blockades of social and political participation. The analysis proceeds in a double step, referring both to the critique of society and to the critique of theory that describes society. The basis of this parallel swing is an analysis in which the author makes revisions to Jürgen Habermas’s colonisation thesis and uses the example of housing to show how these revisions which refer to the global perspective, the demarcation between system and lifeworld, the language of critique and, finally, the theoretical mode of an inherent dialectical critique make possible an analysis of the financial and economic sectors as well as everyday interactions. Reading Habermas more dialectically than he probably would himself also allows the identification of potentials for transforming relations of oppression.

Regina Kreide is Professor of Political Theory at the Justus Liebig University Gießen. She is the author of "Die verdrängte Demokratie" (Nomos, 2016), and co-editor of "The Habermas Handbook" (Columbia University Press, 2017). Forthcoming: "Globale Gerechtigkeit?" (Karl Alber, 2023) 

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