The Crisis Paradigm

Description and Prescription in Social and Political Theory

  • Andrew Simon Gilbert

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Andrew Simon Gilbert
    Pages 1-29
  3. Andrew Simon Gilbert
    Pages 31-59
  4. Andrew Simon Gilbert
    Pages 61-103
  5. Andrew Simon Gilbert
    Pages 105-151
  6. Andrew Simon Gilbert
    Pages 153-205
  7. Andrew Simon Gilbert
    Pages 207-221
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 223-247

About this book


“In an extremely well-timed work, Gilbert critically explores the notion of crisis in political and social theory. This thoughtful scrutiny is an important contribution to the human sciences – not only reminding us of the crucial reflexive demands of our disciplines, but also providing a vista onto major intellectual currents of turbulent 20th century modernity and foregrounding the ways these currents remain in play today. A brilliant and compelling read.” – Chamsy el-Ojeili, Lecturer in Sociology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand 

​This book examines how 20th century theorists have used a discourse of “crisis” to frame their conceptualizations of modernity. Through an investigation of four key thinkers (Georg Lukács, Hannah Arendt, Reinhart Koselleck and Jürgen Habermas), Gilbert argues that scholars in the social sciences and humanities should be cautious of treating crises as explananda for research. Instead, the book calls for sociological analysis of the role of “crisis” within social scientific discourse, and examines how “crisis” has been used as a conceptual frame for legitimating theoretical agendas. Gilbert’s “sociology of concepts” approach presents crisis as a paradigm of modern thought, and, more generally, reflects on how concepts can become the carriers of diverse intellectual traditions and debates. 

The Crisis Paradigm will be of interest to students and scholars of social and critical theory, politics, sociology and history, as well as those working in the fields of media studies, communication and discourse analysis.  


modernity Koselleck Arendt Lukács rationality epistemology

Authors and affiliations

  • Andrew Simon Gilbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social InquiryLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-11059-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-11060-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site