The Postnational Constellation: Political Essays

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Overview

translated, edited, and with an introduction by Max Pensky Does a global economy render the traditional nation-state obsolete? Does globalization threaten democratic life, or offer it new forms of expression? What are the implications of globalization for our understanding of politics and of national and cultural identities? In The Postnational Constellation, Jürgen Habermas addresses these and other questions. He explores the historical and political origins of national identity, the achievements and catastrophes of the twentieth century, the future of democracy in the wake of the era of the nation-state, the political and moral challenges facing the European Union,and the status of global human rights in the ongoing debate on the sources of cultural identity. In their scope, critical insight, and clarity, the essays present a powerful vision of the contemporary political scene and the opportunities and challenges facing us. Those new to Habermas's work will find in this book a lucid and engaging introduction to one of the twentieth century's most influential thinkers. Those familiar with Habermas's writings will appreciate the application of his social and political theories to current political realities.

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Meet the Author

Jürgen Habermas is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt andProfessor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. He was recently awarded the 2004 Kyoto Prize forArts 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.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Editor's Introduction
Foreword
1 What is a People? The Frankfurt "Germanists' Assembly" of 1846 and the Self-Understanding of the Humanities of the Vormarz 1
2 On the Public Use of History 26
3 Learning from Catastrophe? A Look Back at the Short Twentieth Century 38
4 The Postnational Constellation and the Future of Democracy 58
5 Remarks on Legitimation through Human Rights 113
6 Conceptions of Modernity: A Look Back at Two Traditions 130
7 The Differing Rhythms of Philosophy and Politics: Herbert Marcuse at 100 157
8 An Argument against Human Cloning: Three Replies 163
Notes 173
Index 188
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