The Lure of Technocracy
by Jürgen Habermas
(Polity Press; 2015)
Over the past 25 years, Jürgen Habermas has presented what is arguably the most coherent and wide–ranging defence of the project of European unification and of parallel developments towards a politically integrated world society. In developing his key concepts of the transnationalisation of democracy and the constitutionalisation of international law, Habermas offers the main players in the struggles over the fate of the European Union (the politicians, the political parties and the publics of the member states) a way out of the current economic and political crisis, should they choose to follow it. In the title essay Habermas addresses the challenges and threats posed by the current banking and public debt crisis in the Eurozone for European unification. He is harshly critical of the incrementalist, technocratic policies advocated by the German government in particular, which are being imposed at the expense of the populations of the economically weaker, crisis–stricken countries and are undermining solidarity between the member states. He argues that only if the technocratic approach is replaced by a deeper democratization of the European institutions can the European Union fulfil its promise as a model for how rampant market capitalism can once again be brought under political control at the supranational level.
English translation of "Im Sog der Technokratie" (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2013). Five short essays are not included in the English edition.
I. The Lure of Technocracy
1. The Lure of Technocracy: A Plea for European Solidarity [abridged version]
2. European Citizens and European Peoples
3. Keywords on a Discourse Theory of Law and of the Democratic Constitutional State
II. European Conditions. Continued Interventions
4. The Next Step: An Interview [text in German]
5. The Dilemma Facing the Political Parties [text in German]
6. Three Reasons for ’More Europe’
7. Democracy or Capitalism?
III. German Jews, Germans and Jews
8. Jewish Philosophers and Sociologists as Returnees in the Early Federal Republic of Germany [abridged version]
9. Martin Buber - A Philosophy of Dialogue in its Historical Context
10. Our Contemporary Heine: ‘There are No Longer Nations in Europe’