In this accomplished, sophisticated and up-to-date account of the state of critical social theory today, Craig Browne explores the key concepts in critical theory (like critique, ideology, and alienation), and crucially, goes on to relate them to major contemporary developments such as globalization, social conflict and neo-liberal capitalism. Critical theory here is not solely the work of Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse and Habermas. The book begins with the Frankfurt School but uses this as a base to then explore more contemporary figures such as: • Nancy Fraser • Axel Honneth • Luc Boltanski • Cornelius Castoriadis • Ulrich Beck • Anthony Giddens • Pierre Bourdieu • Hannah Arendt A survey of critical social theory for our times, this is an essential guide for students wishing to grasp a critical understanding of social theory in the modern world.
Chapter 5: Positive Liberty and Social Justice
There have been several significant attempts to recast the emancipatory intentions of Critical Theory in terms of a synthesis of positive liberty and social justice. Its variants include Habermas’ conception of the discourse ethic and the mutual reinforcement of private autonomy and public autonomy in the exercise of communicative power, Fraser’s notion of ‘participatory parity’ as a normative standard of justice that overarches the demands for redistribution and recognition, and Honneth’s explications of the moral grammar of struggles for recognition and the institution of social freedom (Habermas, 1996a; Fraser, 2003a; Honneth, 2014). The debates over this ‘dialectic of immanence and transcendence’ have led to significant refinements (Fraser and Honneth, 2003). Like my contribution of ‘democratic ...