Max Weber's Politics of Civil Society

Max Weber's Politics of Civil Society

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Sung Ho Kim
Cambridge University Press, 29/07/2004
EAN 9780521820578, ISBN10: 052182057X
228 pages, 22.8 x 15.4 x 2.4 cm

This book is an in-depth interpretation of Max Weber as a political theorist of civil society. On the one hand, it reads Weber’s ideas from the perspective of modern political thought, rather than the modern social sciences; on the other, it offers a liberal assessment of this complex political thinker without attempting to apologize for his shortcomings. Through an alternative reading of Weber’s religious, epistemological and political writings, the book shows Weber’s concern with public citizenship in a modern mass democracy and civil society as its cultivating ground. Kim argues Weber’s political thought, thus recast, was deeply informed by Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and other German political thinkers and also reveals an affinity to the liberal-republican tradition best represented by Mill and Tocqueville. Kim has effectively resuscitated Weber as a political thinker for our time in which civic virtues and civil society have once again become one of the dominant issues.

"Kim's book is an erudite, thoroughly researched, and insightful rereading of Weber. It is also highly relevant to contemporary democratic theory." Perspectives on Political Theory "Sung Ho Kim has produced an outstanding revision of Max Weber's political thought within the context of Weber's work on the sociology of religion." Leonard Seabrooke, The Review of Politics