Social Theory and Postcommunism undertakes a thorough study of the implications of post-communism for sociological theory. Written by two leading social theorists, the book discusses the thesis that the fall of communism has decimated alternative conceptions of social organizations other than capitalism. Analyzes the implications of the fall of communism on social theory Discusses alternative ideas of social organizations other than capitalism, in the wake of the collapse of communism Covers state/civil society, globalization, the future of “modernity,” and post-socialism
This important Manifesto argues that we still need a concept of society in order to make sense of the forces which structure our lives. Written by leading social theorist William Outhwaite Asks if the notion of society is relevant in the twenty-first century Goes to the heart of contemporary social and political debate Examines critiques of the concept of society from neoliberals, postmodernists, and globalization theorists
This new edition of a well-regarded book provides a concise and exceptionally clear introduction to Habermas's work, from his early writings on the public sphere, through his work on law and the state, to his more recent discussion of science, religion and contemporary Europe. Outhwaite examines all of Habermas's major works and steers a steady course through the many debates to which they have given rise. A major feature of the book is that it provides a detailed critical analysis of Habermas's most important work, The Theory of Communicative Action. As well as looking at Habermas's appraisal of figures such as Foucault and Derrida, the book also examines his resolute defence of the Enlightenment project, his work on law and democracy and its implications for the important topic of European integration. This book quickly became established as an authoritative guide to Habermas's work, and this updated new edition will be an invaluable critical introduction for students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities, especially sociology, politics, philosophy and social theory.
Ideas in Profile: Small Introductions to Big Topics In a world that is constantly changing, understanding the world has never been more important. But by thinking in neat segments, we miss the big picture. When economists think about globalisation, they often see trade; politicians see institutions and power; artists see a new global aesthetic. Social theory is what sees them all together. Renowned theorist William Outhwaite takes us on a journey through the major thinkers and topics of this often misunderstood discipline. We move from the the work of Rousseau to the still powerful insights of Marx and on to the great sociologists, Weber and Durkheim. We probe the big questions - why is religion powerful, where does capitalism come from - and move through the key ideas of the twentieth century thought from the Frankfurt School to Bourdieu and Giddens. Lastly Outhwaite questions the role of social theory today. Where does this vital discipline go next and how will its wide horizons help us stand up to the challenge of the twenty-first century?
Does it make sense to speak of a European society, above and beyond its component states and regions? In this major new book William Outhwaite argues that it does. He goes beyond the study of individual states and specific regions of Europe to examine the changing contours of the continent as a whole, at a time when Europe is beginning to look and act more like a single entity. In what we have come to call Europe there developed distinctive forms of political, economic, and more broadly social organisation - many of course building on elements drawn from more advanced civilisations elsewhere in the world. During the centuries of European dominance these forms were often exported to other wor...
First published in 1983, this book examines the problems of concept formation in the social sciences, and in particular sociology, from the standpoint of a realistic philosophy of science. Beginning with a discussion of positivistic, hermeneutic, rationalist and realistic philosophies of science, Dr Outhwaite argues that realism is best able to furnish rational criteria for the choice and specification of social scientific concepts. A realistic philosophy of science therefore acts as his reference point for the dialectical presentation of alternative accounts.
Europe is one of the most dynamic and interesting areas of the world, pioneering in the European Union a new form of governance for half a billion people, represented in the world’s first directly elected transnational parliament. This book situates the European Union in a broader European, global, historical and geographical context, providing a readable presentation of the most important facts and drawing on the theoretical approaches which have transformed the study of contemporary Europe over the past two decades. The European Union is still on the road to what has been called 'an unknown destination', and this book presents its economic, political, legal and social trajectory from the...
Critical Theory and Contemporary Europe introduces the major contributions critical theorists made to the study of Europe, from the interwar years to the present time. The work begins with theorists such as Adorno who addressed Nazism and the Holocaust, then moves on to discuss the postwar affluence of capitalist Europe. It proceeds to examine how critical theorists provided much of the analysis that motivated the student and youth movements of 1968 and subsequent alternative social movements. Lastly, it relates the development of a critical theory of state socialism, looking at the works of thinkers such as Arato, Offe, and Habermas and how critical theory is now addressing social issues such as European xenophobia and the future of Europe. This new volume in the Critical Theory and Contemporary Society series brings together critical theory and European studies in a clear, accessible manner and shows the relevance of critical theory to practical political issues.
Europe Since 1989 charts the development of Europe east and west since the 1989 revolutions. It analyses the emergent European society, the development of a European public sphere, and civil society. Most books on Europe are heavily biased to the West and Europe Since 1989 takes the opposite approach. It argues that the transformation of the postcommunist world has implications for the whole of Europe and explores the interplay between long-term fundamental tendencies and chance events and the possible futures which confront contemporary Europe. With close attention to political, economic and other social transformations, and an appendix which gives special attention to European macro regions (Nordic/Baltic Europe, Mediterranean Europe), it offers a sociology of Europe with a strong interdisciplinary emphasis.