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Quote of the Week: Jürgen Habermas

Sina Odugbemi's picture
Jurgen Habermas"Today, however, the increasingly high-pitched appeal by politicians to "our values" sounds ever emptier – alone the confusion of "principles", which require some kind of justification, with "values", which are more or less attractive, irritates me beyond all measure. We can see our political institutions being robbed more and more of their democratic substance during the course of the technocratic adjustment to global market imperatives. Our capitalist democracies are about to shrink to mere façade democracies."

- Jürgen Habermas, a German sociologist and philosopher whose work focuses on the political domain and rationality. He is best known for his theories on communicative rationality and the public sphere.  Associated with the Frankfurt School, his work also focuses on the foundations of critical social theory, the analysis of advanced capitalistic societies and democracy, human freedom within modern society, the rule of law in a critical social-evolutionary context, and contemporary politics-- particularly German politics. 

Quoted in a conversation with Michaël Foessel, "Critique and communication: Philosophy's missions," October 16, 2015 in Eurozine.

Photograph by Wolfram Huke via Wikimedia Commons

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Submitted by Gary E. Davis on

Glad to see Habermas noted by a World Bank medium!

I try to keep people up-to-date on Habermas:

Submitted by Abdul Oroh on

I am thrilled to get updated with professor Habermas'cerebral perspectives on various forces driving the public sphere and the now questionable theories that define in absolute terms;and draw conclusions on factors and conditions affecting or influencing democratic consolidation especially in developing countries, post-communist states and states emerging from conflicts. The various reversals we have witnessed, especially in those states captured prominently in the various waves make for more rigorous studies and re-examination of previous conclusions. Turkey is a recent example. If democracy does not meet the socio- economic conditions of the people, democratic consolidations would remain a mirage.

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