Politics: The Central Texts

Overview

The explanatory part of the work rejects the search for a lawlike science of society and history, and emphasizes the haphazardness and replaceability of existing social arrangements. Unger shows how such an antideterministic approach can inspire surprising explanations of past and present institutions, with the result that our sense of the possible is both broadened and refined. He then shows how we can rebuild our political, economic, and social institutions, making them more faithful to the experimental nature ...
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1859848702

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Overview

The explanatory part of the work rejects the search for a lawlike science of society and history, and emphasizes the haphazardness and replaceability of existing social arrangements. Unger shows how such an antideterministic approach can inspire surprising explanations of past and present institutions, with the result that our sense of the possible is both broadened and refined. He then shows how we can rebuild our political, economic, and social institutions, making them more faithful to the experimental nature of democracy. The consequence is to redefine the focus for ideological debate and institutional innovation throughout the world, in developed and developing countries alike.

With an introduction that locates Unger’s work in the history of politics and social theory and explores its major themes, this selection will confirm Geoffrey Hawthorn’s description of Politics as “the most powerful social theory of the second half of the twentieth century.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859848708
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Roberto Mangabeira Unger is one of the leading social and political thinkers in the world today. He is also active in Brazilian politics. Verso has published much of his work: False Necessity: Antinecessitarian Social Theory in the Service of Radical Democracy, What Should Legal Analysis Become?, Democracy Realized: The Progressive Alternative, Politics, and The Left Alternative.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
A Radically Antinaturalist Social Theory
1 Introduction: Society as Artifact 3
2 The Conditional and the Unconditional 19
3 The Circumstance of Social Theory 26
4 Making Sense of the Slogan "It's All Politics" 72
The Making of Contemporary Formative Contexts
5 The Genesis of Three Complexes: Work-Organization, Government, and Private Rights 93
6 The Genesis of Another Formative Context: The Communist Alternative 135
7 Stability and Destabilization in the Working of Formative Contexts 150
8 Negative Capability and Plasticity into Power 172
The Institutional Program of Empowered Democracy
9 A Proto-Theory 227
10 The Practice: In Quest of Power and In Power 263
11 Constitutional Reorganization 306
12 Economic Reorganization 340
13 The System of Rights: Four Rights 367
The Cultural Program of Empowered Democracy
14 The Cultural-Revolutionary Counterpart to the Institutional Program 399
15 The Idea of the Transformative Vocation 413
16 The Spirit 423
Thematic Index 437
Proper-Name Index 461
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