Dreams in Exile Rediscovering Science and Ethics in Nineteenth-Century Social Theory

Politics, Sociology

Muslims in Putin’s Russia: Discourse on Identity, Politics, and Security by Simona E. Merati
Danijela Dolenec, “Democratic Institutions and Authoritarian Rule in Southeast Europe”
Zizi A. Papacharissi, “A Private Sphere: Democracy in a Digital Age”
George E McCarthy – Dreams in Exile: Rediscovering Science and Ethics in Nineteenth-Century Social Theory
On Democracy, 2nd Edition by Robert A. Dahl

Muslims in Putin’s Russia: Discourse on Identity, Politics, and Security by Simona E. Merati

This book offers a novel interpretation of Russian contemporary discourse on Islam and its influence on Russian state policies. It shifts the analytical perspective from the discussion about Russia’s Islam as a potential security threat to a more comprehensive view of the relationships of Muslims with Russia as a state and a civilization. The work demonstrates how many Muslims increasingly express a sense of belonging to Russia and are increasingly willing to contribute to state building processes.

Danijela Dolenec, “Democratic Institutions and Authoritarian Rule in Southeast Europe”

Recipient of the 2013 National Science Award in the Field of Social Sciences, conferred by the Parliament of Croatia. Josip Broz Tito’s saying that ‘one should not hold on to the law like a drunken man holds on to a fence’ remains a valid piece of popular wisdom today, encapsulating the problem of weak rule of law in Southeast European societies. This book poses the question of why democratisation in Southeast Europe disappointed initial expectations, and claims that it is caused by the dominance of authoritarian parties over regime change. Their rule established nondemocratic governance practices that continue to subvert rule of law principles, more than twenty years after the collapse of communism. The unique contribution of this book is in providing empirical evidence for the argument that post-socialist transformation proceeded in a double movement, whereby advances to formal democratic institutions were subverted through nondemocratic rule. This misfit helps explain why improvements to formal democratic institutions did not result in expected democratisation advances.

Zizi A. Papacharissi, “A Private Sphere: Democracy in a Digital Age”

Online technologies excite the public imagination with narratives of democratization. The Internet is a political medium, borne of democracy, but is it democratizing?
Late modern democracies are characterized by civic apathy, public skepticism, disillusionment with politics, and general disinterest in conventional political process. And yet, public interest in blogging, online news, net-based activism, collaborative news filtering, and online networking reveal an electorate that is not disinterested, but rather, fatigued with political conventions of the mainstream.
This book examines how online digital media shape and are shaped by contemporary democracies, by addressing the following issues:
– How do online technologies remake how we function as citizens in contemporary democracies?
– What happens to our understanding of public and private as digitalized democracies converge technologies, spaces and practices?
– How do citizens of today understand and practice their civic responsibilities, and how do they compare to citizens of the past?
– How do discourses of globalization, commercialization and convergence inform audience/producer, citizen/consumer, personal/political, public/private roles individuals must take on?
– Are resulting political behaviors atomized or collective?
– Is there a public sphere anymore, and if not, what model of civic engagement expresses current tendencies and tensions best?
Students and scholars of media studies, political science, and critical theory will find this to be a fresh engagement with some of the most important questions facing democracies today.

George E McCarthy – Dreams in Exile: Rediscovering Science and Ethics in Nineteenth-Century Social Theory

The classical origins of nineteenth-century social theory are illuminated in this sequel to the award-winning Classical Horizons: The Origins of Sociology in Ancient Greece. George E. McCarthy stresses the importance of Aristotle and Kant in the creation of a new type of social science in the nineteenth century that represented a critical reaction to Enlightenment rationality and modern liberalism. The seminal social theorists Marx, Durkheim, and Weber integrated Aristotle’s theory of moral economy and practical wisdom (phronesis) with Kant’s theory of knowledge and moral autonomy. The resulting social theories, uniquely supported by a view of practical science that wove together science and ethics, proved instrumental to the development of modern sociology and anthropology.

On Democracy, 2nd Edition by Robert A. Dahl

Written by the preeminent democratic theorist of our time, this book explains the nature, value, and mechanics of democracy. This new edition includes two additional chapters by Ian Shapiro, Dahl’s successor as Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale and a leading contemporary authority on democracy. One chapter deals with the prospects for democracy in light of developments since the advent of the Arab spring in 2010. The other takes up the effects of inequality and money in politics on the quality of democracy, a subject that was of increasing concern to Dahl in his final years.