Neue Politische Literatur

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 461–480 | Cite as

Ende oder Erneuerung der Fortschrittsidee?

Wagner, Peter: Fortschritt. Zur Erneuerung einer Idee, 174 S., Campus, Frankfurt a. M./New York 2018. Allen, Amy: The End of Progress. Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory, 280 S., Columbia UP, New York 2016.
  • Frank NullmeierEmail author


The concept of progress is currently experiencing a renaissance. Two books from the field of critical theory on this topic are reviewed. The sociologist Peter Wagner recommends to renew the concept of progress. From a postcolonial point of view the philosopher Amy Allen proclaims that we should no longer argue about the concept of progress. Both books disentangle the connection between cosmopolitanism and universalism. Allen’s theory, which aims at global understanding, renounces universalist claims. Wagner’s theory sees only nation states as the place of democratic progress. Both theories represent a purely normative concept of progress: they only discuss what should be considered progress, but not which global dynamics could provide the desired development of progress.


Fortschritt Normativität Regression Genealogie Kritische Theorie 

Copyright information

© Gesellschaft zur wissenschaftlichen Förderung politischer Literatur e.V. and the Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BremenDeutschland

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