Naomi Head
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The Habermasian project
Dialogue as normative grounds and object of critique
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The chapter introduces Habermas's key concepts for a communicative ethics and sets out the relevant debates surrounding his theory of communicative action and discourse ethics. It then looks at a variety of critical interventions which have contributed to reformulations of discourse ethics and how these themes have played out in the application of Habermasian theory to IR. Exploring the conversation between Habermas and those who have adopted and critiqued his theoretical position within IR serves to frame the wider debates concerning Habermas's project and sets out a number of key concerns with his approach. These concerns clarify why communicative ethics as it is developed in this book cannot simply map onto Habermas's own theoretical position. The chapter begins to articulate an alternative conception of communicative ethics which takes inspiration from but is not synonymous to Habermas's position.

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