Rainer Forst

Normativity and Power - Toward an analysis of the social rules of justification

(German title: Normativität und Macht)
ca. 300 pages
Rainer Forst
Foto: Rainer Forst
© Suhrkamp Verlag

Rainer Forst is professor for Political Theory and Philosophy at the Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main.

Rainer Forst has developed a theory of radical justice, human rights and democracy as well as of power and criticism itself.

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English world rights (Oxford University Press)


An analysis of the social rules of justification

People are justificatory beings; they orient themselves according to reasons. The rules and institutions with which they comply are based on historically formed justification-narratives and together create a tension-filled and dynamic normative order. Moving beyond the traditional dichotomies of “idealistic” and “realistic” theories, Rainer Forst shows how closely the concepts of normativity and power are connected: power is based on the ability to influence, determine, and eventually finalize the justificatory space of others. A critical theory of justification must therefore question the reasons behind power relationships and, from there, consider more just rules of behavior.

Other publications

Kritik der Rechtfertigungsverhältnisse/Justification and Critique (2011)

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English world rights (Polity), Brazilian Portuguese rights (UNESP), Arabic world rights (Librairie Orientale), Italy (Trauben)

Das Recht auf Rechtfertigung/The Right to Justification (2007)

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English world rights (Columbia UP), Chinese simplex rights (Chongqing Publishing)

Toleranz im Konflikt/Tolerance in Conflict (2003)

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English world rights (Cambridge UP), Spanish world rights (Paidos), Chinese simplex rights (Chongqing Publishing)

Kontexte der Gerechtigkeit/Contexts of Justice (1996)

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English world rights (California UP), Chinese simplex rights (Chongqing Publishing), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Boitempo)