Critical Theory and Social Transformation provides an exploration of the major themes in critical social theory of recent years. Delanty argues that a critical theory perspective can offer much-needed insights into the pressing socio-political challenges of our time. In this volume, he advances the need to reconnect social theory and social research and to return to the foundational concerns of critical social theory. Delanty engages with the key topics facing critical social theorists: capitalism, cosmopolitanism, modernity, the Anthropocene, and legacies of history. The connecting thread is that the topics are all contemporary challenges for critical theory and relate to major social transformations. The notions of critique, crisis, and social transformation are central to the book.

Critical Theory and Social Transformation will be of interest to the broad readership in social and political theory. It will appeal to those working in sociology, political sociology, politics, and international studies and to anyone with an interest in any of the chapter-specific topics, such as public space, memory, and neo-authoritarianism.

chapter |3 pages


part 1|82 pages

Critical theory revisited

chapter 1|31 pages

Spectres of critique

The legacy of the critical theory of the Frankfurt School

chapter 2|24 pages

Critical engagements

Varieties of critique in social science

chapter 3|25 pages

Critical theory and social transformation

Modernity, capitalism, and technology

part 2|77 pages

Capitalism, cosmopolitanism, the Anthropocene

chapter 4|19 pages

Questioning homo economicus

Have we all become neoliberals?

chapter 5|16 pages

Imagining the future of capitalism

Trends, scenarios, and prospects for the future

chapter 6|20 pages

The prospects of cosmopolitanism and the possibility of global justice

New directions for critical social theory

chapter 7|20 pages

Cosmopolitics and the challenge of the Anthropocene

The new politics of nature

part 3|82 pages

Space, memory and legacies of history

chapter 8|15 pages

The future of public space

Crisis and renewal

chapter 9|16 pages

Modernity and memory

Historical self-understanding and the burden of the past

chapter 10|15 pages

Looking back at the twentieth century

Europe’s contested legacies of history

chapter 11|21 pages

The crisis of the present

Authoritarianism and social pathologies

chapter 12|13 pages


On the future