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Democracy without Enemies by Ulrich Beck


Democracy without Enemies by Ulrich Beck

Up to now, modernization has always been conceived of, in contrast to the worlds of tradition and religion, as a liberation from the constraints of nature. What happens, however, if industrial society becomes a 'tradition' to itself? What if its own necessities, functional principles and fundamental concepts are undermined, broken up and demystified with the same ruthlessness as were the supposedly eternal truths of earlier epochs? These questions are the focus of Ulrich Beck's Democracy without Enemies. The conflict of the future, he argues, will no longer be between East and West, between communism and capitalism, but between the countries, regions and groups involved in primary modernization and those that are attempting to relativize and reform the project of modernity self-critically, based on their experience of it. The conflict of the future will be between the two modernities which will battle over the compatibility of survival and human rights for all citizens of the earth.


Another chef da oeuvre from Beck -- simultaneously a bold overview and a most detailed map of the world we have made and are made by. And the fullest to--date presentation of the idea of second modernity : that of the pressures to rationalize the effects of rationalization which will dominate our individual and collective concerns and efforts for the years to come. A supreme exercise in restoring to view the lost link between biography and history, individual life and its global setting: an essential reading for everyone trying to see form and logic in the increasingly confused and shapeless experience. Zygmunt Bauman, University of Leeds The state without enemies is a step already on the way to the global risk society of what Beck calls our second modernity . This book has raised -- among scholars and politicians -- considerable controversy in Germany, and will no doubt do so in the English--speaking world. Scott Lash, Lancaster University

About the Author

Ulrich Beck is Professor of Sociology at the University of Munich

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Book Info

Publication date

14th June 1998


Ulrich Beck

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Polity Press


200 pages


Political structures: democracy
Social forecasting, future studies



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