Critical Theory and Social Transformation provides an exploration of the major themes in critical social theory of recent years. Delanty argues that a critical theory perspective can offer much-needed insights into the pressing socio-political challenges of our time. In this volume, he advances the need to reconnect social theory and social research and to return to the foundational concerns of critical social theory. Delanty engages with the key topics facing critical social theorists: capitalism, cosmopolitanism, modernity, the Anthropocene, and legacies of history. The connecting thread is that the topics are all contemporary challenges for critical theory and relate to major social transformations. The notions of critique, crisis, and social transformation are central to the book.
Critical Theory and Social Transformation will be of interest to the broad readership in social and political theory. It will appeal to those working in sociology, political sociology, politics, and international studies and to anyone with an interest in any of the chapter-specific topics, such as public space, memory, and neo-authoritarianism.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Critical Theory Revisited
1. Spectres of Critique: The Legacy of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School
2. Critical Engagements: Varieties of Critique in Social Science
3. Critical Theory and Social Transformation: Modernity, Capitalism and Technology
Part 2: Capitalism, Cosmopolitanism, the Anthropocene
4. Questioning Homo Economicus: Have we all Become Neoliberals?
5. Imagining the Future of Capitalism: Trends, Scenarios and Prospects for the Future
6. The Prospects of Cosmopolitanism and the Possibility of Global Justice: New Directions for Critical Social Theory
7. Cosmopolitics and the Challenge of the Anthropocene: The New Politics of Critical Social Theory
Part 3: Space, Memory and Legacies of History
8. The Future of Public Space: Crisis and Renewal
9. Modernity and Memory: Historical Self-Understanding and the Burden of the Past
10. Looking Back at the Twentieth Century: Europe’s Contested Legacies of History
11. The Crisis of the Present: Authoritarianism and Social Pathologies
12. Conclusion: On the Future
Gerard Delanty is Professor of Sociology and Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. He is the author of eleven books, including Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality (1995), The Cosmopolitan Imagination (2009), Formations of European Modernity: A Historical and Political Sociology of Europe, 2nd edition (2018). He has edited numerous volumes, including the Routledge Handbook of Cosmopolitanism Studies, 2nd edition (2018). His most recent book is The European Heritage: A Critical Re-interpretation (2018).