Synopses & Reviews
In Between Facts and Norms
Habermas works out the legal and political implications of his theoretical approach, bringing to fruition the project announced more than three decades ago in The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Between Facts and Norms
is a major contribution to current debates on the role of law and the prospects for the development of democracy in contemporary societies. Habermas develops a distinctive account of the nature of law, arguing that law is characterized by an internal tension between factual and normative aspects. He links this account to a broader argument concerning the formation of the modern constitutional state and the role of democratic deliberation as a means of securing the legitimacy of legal norms in complex, pluralistic societies.
Habermas develops a proceduralist conception of democracy which emphasizes the importance of citizens organizing themselves in informal associations and voicing their concerns in a variety of public settings. If the formal processes of law-making in modern societies are to sustain their legitimacy, they must be capable of taking account of the concerns of ordinary citizens. In our complex, pluralistic societies, the legitimacy of political decision-making processes depends on a robust civil society and a vibrant public sphere.
Between Facts and Norms is an outstanding work by one the most important social and political thinkers of our time. It will be a focal point of debate for many years to come in the fields of social and political theory, sociology, politics and philosophy.
'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
This study works out the legal and political implications of Jurgen Habermas's theoretical approach discussed in "The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere". It examines debates on the role of law and the prospects for the development of democracy in contemporary societies.
This is Habermas's long awaited work on law, democracy and the modern constitutional state in which he develops his own account of the nature of law and democracy.
Table of Contents
1. Law as a Category of Social Mediation between Facts and Norms.
2. The Sociology of Law versus the Philosophy of Justice.
3. A Reconstructive Approach to Law I: The System of Rights.
4. A Reconstructive Approach to Law II: The Principles of the Constitutional State. 5. The Indeterminacy of Law and the Rationality of Adjudication.
6. Judiciary and Legislature: On the Role and Legitimacy of Constitutional Adjudication.
7. Deliberative Politics: A Procedural Concept of Democracy.
8. Civil Society and the Political Public Sphere.
9. Paradigms of Law. Postscript (1994).