This unique work analyzes the crisis in modern society, building on the ideas of the Frankfurt School thinkers. Emphasizing social evolution and learning processes, it argues that crisis is mediated by social class conflicts and collective learning, the results of which are embodied in constitutional and public law.
First, the work outlines a new categorical framework of critical theory in which it is conceived as a theory of crisis. It shows that the Marxist focus on economy and on class struggle is too narrow to deal with the range of social conflicts within modern society, and posits that a crisis of legitimization is at the core of all crises. It then discusses the dialectic of revolutionary and evolutionary developmental processes of modern society and its legal system.
This volume in the Critical Theory and Contemporary Society by a leading scholar in the field provides a new approach to critical theory that will appeal to anyone studying political sociology, political theory, and law.
Hauke Brunkhorst is Professor of Sociology and Head of the Institute of Sociology at the University of Flensburg, Germany. Previously, he was the Theodor Heuss Professor at the New School for Social Research in New York, USA. A political sociologist, he has authored many books, including Adorno and Critical Theory (1999) and Solidarity: From Civic Friendship to a Global Legal Community (2005).
General introduction 1 The evolutionary significance of revolution Introduction I The power of the negative: The take-off of social evolution II Normative constraints III Constitutions as evolutionary universals IV The evolution of modern society Conclusion 2 Class conflict and the co-evolution of cosmopolitan and national statehood Introduction I Cosmopolis as an evolutionary universal II Co-evolution of cosmopolitan and national statehood III Functional Differentiation and social conflict Conclusion 3 Legal revolutions Introduction I Papal Revolution II Protestant Revolution III Atlantic World Revolution IV Egalitarian World Revolution Conclusion Epilogue Index