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Transformations of Liberal Reason: Migration Politics and Shifts in Cultural Self-Interpretation

Kaufmann, Hannes

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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-157901

Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): authoritarianism , Critical Theory , law , (neo-)liberalism , sovereignty
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universität GieĂźen
Institut: International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture
Fachgebiet: GieĂźener Graduiertenzentrum Kulturwissenschaften
DDC-Sachgruppe: Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Zeitschrift, Serie: On_Culture : the Open Journal for the Study of Culture ; 10
ISBN / ISSN: 2856008-5
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2020
Publikationsdatum: 18.12.2020
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: In light of the current multiple crises, authoritarian movements gain new strength. Claiming that globalization and especially migration is endangering social cohesion and national sovereignty, without considering political-economic aspects, they call for a strong state. Along the lines of those claims, they revise what Helmut Dubiel called the “cultural selfinterpretation,” meaning the understanding of the political super-structure of their community. Doing that, liberal values and concepts are re-inter-preted, as can be seen with the “rule of law” for example. From its intrinsic value of strengthening individual claims against the state’s rule, they turn it into a concept of state power, interpreting the “rule of law” as the rule of a mythical legitimized sover-eign. Those re-interpretations — and legal constructs referring to them — will be an-alyzed in this essay. Authoritarian politics and their roots will be regarded in their contradictory relation to (neo-)liberalism as they appear as a critique towards it at first glance. Yet, taking into account early Critical Theory and its analysis of authoritarian-ism, the article aims to show that those tendencies emerge from liberal ideas and ide-als. Seen from this perspective the article promotes the view that rather than a pure defense of liberalism, a materialist examination of liberalism’s inner contradictions is necessary to understand and criticize authoritarianism.
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