Jürgen Habermas – A Few Reliable Web Links

Jürgen Habermas’s work on the public sphere, public opinion and its impact on liberal-democratic societies is of considerable relevance for disciplines as diverse as political science, sociology, communication sciences, media studies, and (state) philosophy. As usual, the Internet provides numerous resources, of which are some more and others less useful. In this post I have assembled a list  websites I used for my own work on transnational political public debate in the European Union  (English publications only).

1. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: A brief yet comprehensive introduction into Habermas’s life and work. Summarizes his major theories and provides a useful bibliography.

2. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: Google books provides Habermas’ most important work as regard the sociological as well as political analysis of the phenomenon he designated the ‘public sphere’. In recent years it experienced a kind of renaissance, especially in branches of anglophone communication and media studies focusing online discourses.

3. The Theory of Communicative Action Vol.1: An English translation of another major work written by Habermas from 1984. Available as a pdf file.

4. Habermas – A Critical Introduction: A comprehensive introduction into Habermas’s theories available at Google books.

5. Habermas – The Key Concepts: Same as above.

6. Vancouver Island University: A very brief summarization of the Habermasian conception of the public sphere.

7. Carnegie Mellon University: This website provides a summarization of Habermas’ discourse ethics. The brief definitions of his quite complex key terms are especially useful.

8. Bent Flyvberg: An interesting article in which the author contrasts both Foucault’s and Habermas’s perspectives and relevance for the civil society.

9. FT.com: An interesting article and interview with Habermas from 2010. The article portrays Habermas’s philosophical background (quite cursory of course) and the Interview provides  his perspective on the political future of Europe.

10. Marxist.org: A very brief account of his life and translations of Knowledge & Human Interest (1968) and Communicative Ethics (1998).

11. The Nation: An article written by Habermas on Germany and the Euro-Crisis.

12. New Left Review: In this article Habermas elaborately explains why Europe needs a transnational constitution in order to ensure its political survival in the 21st century.

13. Reset Doc: An article written by Habermas on the ‘post-secular’ society.

Additionally, here an interview with Habermas from 2007 on youtube (in English):

As I said, this is just a snippet of the tons of material available online. I will therefore regularly update this post.

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Michel Foucault – Some Useful Web Resources

Though Foucault is of little to no relevance for German Communication Sciences, many of his basic ideas had considerable influence on cultural and media studies. There are countless books and lots of online content available. Below find a list of the most useful websites I came across during my research for several term papers and presentations:

1. Michel-Foucault.com: A very good starting point, as it provides not only translations of selected texts, further links etc. but also digests some of the key concepts of Foucault’s theoretical framework. Especially ‘beginners’ should have a look on this site.

2. What is an author?: The original essay from 1969 translated into English. Basically a ‘must-read’ as it contains delineations  of important Foucauldian concepts like authorship, author function, text, knowledge, audience and discourse.

3. Marxist.org: The first three chapters of The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969).

4. Foucault.info: A collection of freely available Foucault articles, book excerpts, interviews and further links.

5. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Comprehensive overview of Foucault’s life and work.

6. University of Minnesota: A number of helpful outlines of Foucault’s major works (including references).

7. Jon Protevi: This page offers a range of course or lecture material, respectively. No primary sources but it provides some useful summarizations and introductions into Foucault’s main works.

8. Lawrence University Wisconsin: Offers a readers-guide to What is an author – basically structures the text into five sections and tries to summarizes the key issues of the article.

There is much more web content in French, however, as my target audience mainly consists of speakers of English I left them out in this post. Moreover, here a few youtube-clips in which Foucault explains his Discipline and Punish (1975):

Again, theres is even more on youtube, such as interviews, lectures, documentaries. Just browse for ‘Michel Foucault’.

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