1st Edition

India, Habermas and the Normative Structure of Public Sphere

By Muzaffar Ali Copyright 2023
    176 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This book examines how the contemporary Indian situation poses a strict theoretical challenge to Habermas’s theorization of the public sphere and employs the method of samvāda to critically analyse and dissect its universalist claims. It invites the reader to consider the possibility of imagining a normative Indian public sphere that is embedded in the Indian context—in a native and not nativist sense—to get past the derivative language of philosophical and political discourses prevalent within Indian academia. The book proposes that the dynamic cooperative space between Indian political theory and contemporary Indian philosophy is effectively suited to theorize the native idea of the Indian public sphere. It underlines the normative need for a natively theorized Indian public sphere to further the multilayered democratization of public spheres within diverse communities that constitute Indian society.

    The book will be a key read for contemporary studies in philosophy, political theory, sociology, postcolonial theory, history and media and communication studies.



    1 Indian Political Theory & Search for a Normative Public Sphere

    2 The Idea of Public Sphere in Habermas

    3 Indian Engagements with Habermas: Why Public Sphere?

    4 The Indian Situation as an Exception to Habermas

    5 Deuniversal Rationality and the Imagined Indian Public Sphere





    Muzaffar Ali is Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, India. He briefly taught at Hindu College, University of Delhi (2016). His focus in research and teaching is on social and political philosophy and contemporary Indian philosophy with an emphasis on the idea of the public sphere and its normative implications. He has been a DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) scholar and has published in international journals of repute such as the Economic and Political Weekly, JICPR, Sophia, Culture and Dialogue and Journal of World Philosophies. Apart from journal publications, he has a co-edited volume, The Imbecile’s Guide to Public Philosophy (2021) with Routledge.