Abstract only

Series:

Shivdeep Grewal

This chapter addresses two features of Jürgen Habermas's oeuvre. The first feature is the influence that the concept of juridification has had on Habermas's journalistic writings. The second feature of Habermas's work examined is the continuity within his journalism of the reflective welfare state project. Historical events and Habermas's scholarly writings provide a background context for the journalism survey. The survey is divided into two parts. The first examines the critical and cautious attitude toward European integration exhibited by Habermas from the early 1960s. The increasingly positive attitude he has shown since the early 1990s is then considered. A remark in 'Political experience and the renewal of Marxist theory', first published in 1979, encapsulated Habermas's early scepticism toward the European project. Even after the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by Irish voters in 2008, Habermas continued to campaign for the legitimation of Europe's constitutional order.

Abstract only

Habermas and European integration

Social and cultural modernity beyond the nation-state

Series:

Shivdeep Grewal

From its conception to the referenda of 2005 where it met its end, German philosopher Jürgen Habermas wrote in support of the European Constitution. This book is the first in-depth account of his project. Emphasis is placed on the conception of the European Union (EU) that informed his political prescriptions. This study engages with Habermas's thought as a totality, though attention is focussed on themes such as communicative rationality that began to surface in the 1970s. The first part of the book considers the unfolding of 'social modernity' at the level of the EU. Among the subjects covered are Habermas's concept of juridification, the latter's affinities with integration theories such as neofunctionalism and the application of Habermas's democratic theory to the EU. The second part addresses 'cultural modernity' in Europe - 'Europessimism' is argued to be a subset of the broader cultural pessimism that has assailed the project of modernity in recent decades with renewed intensity in the wake of 9/11. The final section looks at the conceptual landscape of the Constitutional Convention. The groundbreaking work of E. O. Eriksen, E. F. Fossum and others provides the most developed Habermasian account of the EU to date. Juridification is put forward as a metatheory of social modernity, and existing approaches from the corpus of European integration theory are drawn. Recent political theory confronts scholars of European integration with difficult questions. The social democrats who were interviewed had the opposite combination of opinions.

Abstract only

Series:

Shivdeep Grewal

Conceptions of democracy can be discerned in Jürgen Habermas's writings on Europe. In an article on the Constitution written before 9/11, the sluice gate model of Between Facts and Norms (BFN) was suggested. Habermas's favourable account of the mass protests in Europe against military intervention in Iraq recalled the siege model of The Theory of Communicative Action (TCA), with civil society exerting an influence on the state from outside. One outcome of lifeworld colonisation identified by Habermas is the 'withdrawal of legitimation' from the state. It is widely cited as a consequence of the European Union's 'democratic deficit', evident in the widespread decline of the 'permissive consensus', a perception of European integration as an innocuously technical, rather than political, endeavour. Other signs of lifeworld colonisation/the democratic deficit can be discerned in the spheres of personal and cultural life.

Abstract only

Sue-Ann Harding

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on concepts discussed in this book. The book asks to what extent a narrative theory combining sociological and narratological approaches lends itself to elaborating a model of analysis for the study of media reporting on violent conflict in general and the Beslan hostage disaster in particular. It offers a revised typology of narratives, which distinguishes between personal and shared or collective narratives. The book emphasises the importance of narrators and temporary narrators. A qualitative and quantitive analysis of RIA-Novosti, Kavkazcenter and Caucasian Knot found that each had a similar composition, made up of brief bulletins, commentaries and various types of non-narrative material. In comparison, Kavkazcenter published only about a quarter of the length of RIA-Novosti's primary narrative text, and Caucasian Knot about a third.

Abstract only

Conclusion

An unfinished project?

Series:

Shivdeep Grewal

A novel conception of the European Union (EU) has informed Jürgen Habermas's political prescriptions. For this conception to be delineated accurately, two bodies of work must be reckoned with: Habermas's scholarly writings and political journalism. John Goff's acknowledges the importance of Habermas's postnational turn, suggesting lines along which philosophical discussions of the EU and globalisation might be conducted in future. Habermas's conception of the EU was too narrowly disseminated to influence either elite or popular opinion. Habermas's campaigning in favour of the European Constitution would seem vindicated by the crisis of the Eurozone. At a lower level of abstraction, social modernity can be examined in relation to specific historical conjunctures or policy contexts. In the era of the Constitutional Convention, antimodernists such as Houellebecq seemed to explain the popular mood in Europe.

Abstract only

Series:

Shivdeep Grewal

This chapter assesses data from a series of interviews conducted in 2002 against the background of the Constitutional Convention. Jürgen Habermas's conception of the European Union (EU) would be called into question if the observations of the interviewees diverged radically from it. The chapter examines the attitudes of the radical and social democratic left. A combination of centrists, social partners and institutional personnel then receives consideration. With the exception of staff from the Council Legal Service (CLS), the centrists, social partners and institutional personnel who were interviewed also conveyed an impression of the EU evocative of the siege model. Staff from the CLS strongly disputed a systems-theoretic conception of EU social policy, whether evocative of S. Leibfried's work or of G. Majone's work.

Abstract only

Caucasian Knot

‘I have five children in that school, do you understand?’

Sue-Ann Harding

Caucasian Knot's website includes the widest range of temporary narrators selected from Russian, North Ossetian and Chechen-Ichkerian officials, other media, Russian and foreign NGOs and eyewitnesses. The local narratives of Russian journalists Andrei Babitskii and Anna Politkovskaya are also included in the Caucasian Knot primary narrative. This is similar to the way they are embedded into the Kavkazcenter narrative and in contrast to RIA-Novosti, where they are very minor characters. Like RIA-Novosti, Caucasian Knot also covers not only events in Beslan, but official movements and actions across the region and in Moscow, with particular focus on regional activities. Narrative texts located beyond Beslan focus on the details of numbers of wounded admitted to, and discharged from, various local and regional hospitals, which, in keeping with Caucasian Knot's tendency to include local details, are all named.

Abstract only

Series:

Shivdeep Grewal

In this chapter, European novels and other relevant texts are looked at, both as descriptions and embodiments of the zeitgeist - in them are discerned 'cartographies of disenchantment', vying accounts of the causes, consequences and agents of rationalisation. The reductionism of John Gray's approach is evident from his conflation of the Enlightenment's heirs with religious fundamentalists, all of whom are understood to be utopians, and hence quintessentially 'modern'. Traits identifiable with the three continua are listed under the following headings: 'Counter-Enlightenment', 'Cynical Enlightenment' and 'Conservative Enlightenment'. The chapter disputes Gray's conclusions, finding them a useful foil for Jürgen Habermas's more sophisticated account. Antimodernism was discussed by Habermas in the early 1980s. The chapter concludes with a diagrammatic representation of tendencies and configurations critical of modernity.

Abstract only

Beslan

Six stories of the siege

Sue-Ann Harding

The cruelty of the September 2004 terrorist attack marks Beslan as Russia's worst hostage crisis. The similarities and differences in the reporting of such a violent, and ultimately calamitous, series of events are the focus of this book. The book investigates ways in which different narratives are constructed from, and in response to, events emerging from situations of violent conflict. It explores the relevance of narratives for, and the contributions of socio- narrative theory towards, understanding, explaining and challenging the behaviour of individuals and the practices of social units and institutions. The book also explores issues of translation and ways in which translation impacts on the (re)construction of narratives. It is written as an act of anamnesis to engender recognition and recollection. The book is essentially a case study in that it investigates in depth a small sample of online reporting written in response to a particular set of events. The socio- narrative theory presented is not just an analytical tool but is itself an object of investigation. The book investigates the Russian- language narrative texts published by a different online news agency by analyzing those texts published by the major Russian agency RIA- Novosti . It then examines the Chechen resistance website Kavkazcenter, and investigates the reports published by Caucasian Knot, a charitably funded Russian civil society website. These chapters strive to determine what narratives, the English-language material, these three Russian news agencies constructed from the reported events in Beslan, and how these narratives were constructed.

Abstract only

Afterword

John Goff

Series:

Shivdeep Grewal

In distinction to the activity of the European Union (EU) in political-economic and social-cultural domains, there is also the significant matter of how to think about the EU. It seems that serious philosophical examination of the European Union has been relatively scarce. Jürgen Habermas is significant in this regard because he has developed a philosophy of the EU, in part. The question of whether further European integration serves to further the development of efficient political-economic means in the emerging era of globality is a pressing, and much disputed, question. In the light of the critique of modernity, the work that Shivdeep Grewal, following Habermas, puts into an analysis of conservatism as 'contra-modernity' is timely. Diverse 'contra-modernists' will tend towards either a dissipation of the EU in favour of enhanced forms of nation-statism, or else towards the EU as a defence against globalisation.