Ende oder Erneuerung der Fortschrittsidee?
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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.