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Crisis? Capitalism is Doing Very Well. How is Critical Theory?

Azmanova, Albena (2014) Crisis? Capitalism is Doing Very Well. How is Critical Theory? Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory, 21 (3). pp. 351-365. ISSN 1351-0487. E-ISSN 1467-8675. (doi:10.1111/1467-8675.12101) (KAR id:58796)

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There is no crisis of capitalism, only a crisis of critique. I claim that Critical Social Theory of Frankfurt School origins does stand guilty of a failure to develop a body of valiant critique of the political economy of neoliberal capitalism in the course of the latter’s ascent in the 1980s and 1990s. The first part of my analysis addresses the crisis of capitalism as a distinct object of critique, in order to identify the direction a critique of contemporary capitalism is to take. The second part examines the analytical equipment at Critical Theory’s disposal for undertaking such an endeavor. Within an inventory of some of the key achievements of the tradition both in terms of its object and method of critique, some conceptual deficiencies are identified – namely, the reduced attention to what I describe as “systemic domination,” and the diminished reliance on a critique of the political economy of capitalism. The third part adumbrates a proposal for recasting Critical Theory by way of (a) redefining the normative content of emancipation; (b) effecting a realist-pragmatic turn within the communicative turn;

(c) bringing the critique of political economy back into critical social theory.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1467-8675.12101
Uncontrolled keywords: critical theory, capitalism, critique, Frankfurt School
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Albena Azmanova
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2016 17:32 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 13:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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