The current study takes on the task of focussing on Habermas’ long and productive first phase in the 1960s and 1970s. The book begins with Habermas’ analyses of students’ political consciousness and of public opinion, before examining his close dialogue with Marcuse and the vanguard of the student movement. The study then focuses on Habermas’ works on the reality and contradictions of the late capitalist system: Knowledge and Human Interests, Legitimation Crisis and Theory and Practice. In doing so, the volume revisits important moments in the first three decades of Habermas’ research and teaching in order to reconstruct a theory that contributes to a praxis of fundamental, grass-roots change.

Ruggero D’Alessandro (Palermo, 1962), MA in Law, MA in Political Science, PhD in Social Science, lives in Switzerland where he teaches Italian to migrants, and holds seminars in several universities (Rome I, Paris V, Varese). He is the author of 26 books (in Social Science, History of Ideas and European Culture, as well as Contemporary History), six novels and a collection of poetry. His works have been translated into English, French and German.