chapter  1
14 Pages

Communication, Deliberation, Reason: An Introduction to Habermas


The German sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas has had a wideranging and signifi cant impact on understandings of social change and social confl ict. His infl uence on ideas generated in the fi elds of sociology, political science, philosophy, law, and other areas such as media and communication studies, has been immense. From his early studies of the public sphere, through the development of his communicative action theory, and up to his more recent focus on law and forms of democracy, Habermas has consistently defended the project of modernity and the enlightenment tradition. It is for good reason that Bernstein called Habermas the ‘philosopher of democracy’ (1991, 207).