Habermas’ concept of communicative power as an expression of citizens’ political autonomy is first outlined and its significance is traced as a corrective to the narrowly strategic and conflictual account of power dominant in the social sciences. Nonetheless, the problems with Habermas’ account in doing justice to the creativity of social power in shaping the substantive parameters of communicative power are diagnosed. These are seen to result from his over‐dependence on a formal and deontological theory of morality and a polycentric–synchronic theory of society. A path forward is suggested in which the concept of communicative power is set in relation to both social and functional forms of power within a combined philosophical and social‐theoretical framework emphasizing diachronic, agential, socio‐cognitive, and learning theory dimensions.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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