Habermas: An Intellectual Biography

This book follows postwar Germany`s leading philosopher and social thinker, Jrgen Habermas, through four decades of political and constitutional struggle over the shape of liberal democracy in Germany. Habermas`s most influential theories – of the public sphere, communicative action, and modernity – were decisively shaped by major West German political events: the failure to de-Nazify the judiciary, the rise of a powerful Constitutional Court, student rebellions in the late 1960s, the changing fortunes of the Social Democratic Party, NATO`s decision to station nuclear weapons, and the unexpected collapse of East Germany. In turn, Habermas`s writings on state, law, and constitution played a critical role in reorienting German political thought and culture to a progressive liberal-democratic model. Matthew Specter uniquely illuminates the interrelationship between the thinker and his culture.

Habermas: An Intellectual Biography Paperback – September 27, 2010
Matthew G. Specter (Author)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (September 27, 2010)
Language: English. ISBN-10: 0521738318. ISBN-13: 978-0521738316

About the Author

I earned my MA and PhD from Duke University’s History Department, but my interest in European intellectual history dates back to my undergraduate years at Harvard and Brown. I graduated magna cum laude from Brown in 1991, but discovered my academic vocation years earlier at the Dalton School in New York City. Today I teach courses in European, German and world history at Central Connecticut State University, on themes ranging from intellectuals and politics to human rights. I have won competitive fellowships at the International Center for Research in Cultural Studies in Vienna, from the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Berlin, the American Council on Germany, and been a guest scholar of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt. I have longstanding research interests in the methodology of intellectual history, German political theory, and the history of human rights.

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