How do intellectuals engage with and affect their publics? What is the role of the public intellectual in the new age of political uncertainties? What challenges face female intellectuals and those speaking from an ethnic, national or class position? This exciting collection responds to these questions by offering a broad-ranging account of the changing role of intellectuals in public life. The volume opens with provocative essays on the idea and role of the public intellectual from Alexander, Evans and Zulaika. Chapters from Rabinbach on intellectuals' responses to totalitarianism, Outhwaite on what it means to be a European intellectual, and Auer’s discussion of the dissident intellectual in the collapse of communism lead onto vigorous debate of earlier points discussed through specific intellectual case studies from Tocqueville to Hayek. Intellectuals and their Publics will attract a broad readership interested in the role of the intellectual, with particular appeal for sociologists, political theorists and historians of ideas.
Christian Fleck is Professor of Sociology at the Karl Franzens University of Graz and Director of the Archive for the History of Sociology in Austria. He has been a Fellow at Harvard University and at the Center for Scholars and Writers, New York Public Library and in Spring 2008 he was Visiting Austrian Fulbright Professor at the University of Minnesota, USA. Andreas Hess is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at University College Dublin. Amongst his previous books are Concepts of Social Stratification: European and American Models (2001); American Social and Political Thought: A Concise Introduction (2000) and (as editor) American Social and Political Thought: A Reader (2003) E. Stina Lyon is Professor and Pro Dean for the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences at London South Bank University. Her present research interests are in the history of sociology, particularly with reference to sociological research methods.
'This exciting and provocative collection takes up the contemporary challenges facing intellectuals from an historical and biographical perspective. A stimulating book sure to ignite controversy about the fraught relation of intellectuals to their publics.' Michael Burawoy, University of California, USA 'Have 'intellectuals' disappeared, replaced by 'experts' in an age dominated by the mass media? Does the idea of the 'public' still make sense in such an age? This book provides a magisterial survey of these and other key questions concerning the practical impact of intellectual reflection.' Anthony Giddens, Former Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK 'Public intellectuals play a crucial role today, both in nearly every country of the world and at a global level. Contributors to this book bring social science research to bear on national differences and historical changes in the relationship of intellectuals to different publics and issues. They show how changes in media, democratic institutions, and academic fields have all influenced the ways in which intellectuals inform public debates. This is timely and important.' Craig Calhoun, President of the Social Science Research Council and New York University, USA. '...the contributors offer a sobering reminder that some of those listening most intently to academics' views have been the people with guns, grudges, gulags and an extremely dim view of intellectual freedom...there may be no more loin-girding way to start the year' The Times Higher Education '...there are many interesting observations and reflections in this collection, which can contribute to an understanding of the pressing question of the role of public intellectuals in history and in contemporary public life.' American Journal of Sociology