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Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy / Edition 1

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Overview

In Between Facts and Norms, Jürgen Habermas works out the legal and political implications of his Theory of Communicative Action (1981),bringing to fruition the project announced with his publication of The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere in 1962. This new work is a major contribution to recent debates on the rule of law and the possibilities of democracy in postindustrial societies, but it is much more.The introduction by William Rehg succinctly captures the special nature of the work, noting that it offers a sweeping, sociologically informed conceptualization of law and basic rights, a normative account of the rule of law and the constitutional state, an attempt to bridge normative and empirical approaches to democracy, and an account of the social context required for democracy. Finally, the work frames and caps these arguments with a bold proposal for a new paradigm of law that goes beyond the dichotomies that have afflicted modern political theory from its inception and that still underlie current controversies between so-called liberals and civic republicans. The book includes a postscript written in 1994, which restates the argument in light of its initial reception, and two appendixes, which cover key developments that preceded the book. Habermas himself was actively involved in the translation, adapting the text as necessary to make it more accessible to English-speaking readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Building on his 1981 volume Theory of Communicative Action, Habermas contributes to recent debates on the rule of law and the possibilities of democracy in postindustrial societies, proposing a new paradigm of law. First published in 1992 by Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt Am Main, Germany, this English language edition includes a postscript written in 1994 and two appendices covering key developments that preceded the book. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

'Rich, important ... proceeding through the magisterial scrutiny of theoretical approaches in law, sociology, philosophy and politics, it offers plenty for students of these disciplines to chew on.' Times Higher Education Supplement

'A significant development of his theory ... Rehg's translation of Between Facts and Norms is clear and precise and his Introduction helpful.' British Journal of Sociology

'In Between Facts and Norms, Habermas offers an inspiring and intellectually stimulating diagnosis of the predicament of modern law ... his contribution will undoubtedly have a lasting influence on this crucially important debate.' Democratization

'For at least a generation Jurgen Habermas's work has made a significant impact on a variety of important debates in philosophy and the social sciences. Between Facts and Norms ... brings together many of Habermas's earlier concerns and weaves them into a comprehensive and brilliant critical theory of actually existing democracy. From the perspective of the discipline of politics this is undoubtedly Habermas's most important work. Of course, Habermas's work is dense, challenging and incredibly broad in its range. It is also controversial, and this work will certainly not win over his most trenchant critics. None of this amounts to a valid excuse to ignore it. This book really is essential reading for anyone who is interested in exploring at depth the possibilities of realizing a genuinely democratic future.' Political Studies

'Such a scholarly intensity deserves to be read at first hand.' Sociology, Ian Roberts, Univerisity of Durham

'Eleven Years after his monumental Theory of Communicative Action (1981), Jürgen Habermas has again presented an opus magnum.' Otfried Höffe, Universität Tübingen, Mind

Jürgen Habermas has been awarded the prestigious 'Friedenspreis des deutschen Buchhandels' prize for 2001

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jürgen Habermas is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt and Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. He was recently awarded the 2004 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy by the Inamori Foundation. The Kyoto Prize is an international award to honor those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind.

William Rehg is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. He is the translator of Jürgen Habermas's Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy (1996) and the coeditor of Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics and Pluralism (1997) and The Pragmatic Turn: The Transformation of Critical Theory (2001), all published by the MIT Press.

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Table of Contents

Translator's Introduction
Preface
1 Law as a Category of Social Mediation between Facts and Norms 1
2 The Sociology of Law versus the Philosophy of Justice 42
3 A Reconstructive Approach to Law I: The System of Rights 82
4 A Reconstructive Approach to Law II: The Principles of the Constitutional State 132
5 The Indeterminacy of Law and the Rationality of Adjudication 194
6 Judiciary and Legislature: On the Role and Legitimacy of Constitutional Adjudication 238
7 Deliberative Politics: A Procedural Concept of Democracy 287
8 Civil Society and the Political Public Sphere 329
9 Paradigms of Law 388
Postscript (1994) 447
Appendix I. Popular Sovereignty as Procedure (1988) 463
Appendix II. Citizenship and National Identity (1990) 491
Notes 517
Bibliography 571
Index 595
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