Books

How Patriotic is the Patriot Act?

In this short book, Etzioni, the well-known and respected public intellectual and communitarian thinker, charts a middle course, or third way 'between those who are committed to shore up our liberties but blind to the needs of public security, as well as those who never met a right they are not willing to curtail to give authorities an even freer hand.'

My Brother's Keeper

In My Brother's Keeper: A Memoir and a Message, one of America's most admired public figures tells the story of his life. Born in Germany in 1929, Amitai Etzioni escaped the Nazi regime and as a teenager dropped out of high school to fight as a commando in the Israeli War of Independence. He went on to earn his doctorate at Berkeley, teach at Columbia University and Harvard Business School, and serve as senior advisor to the Carter White House. Although he has authored or edited over 20 books, Dr. Etzioni's influence extends beyond academic circles as the founder of the communitarian social movement.

The Common Good

In this book, Amitai Etzioni, public intellectual and leading proponent of communitarian values, defends the view that no society can flourish without a shared obligation to “the common good.” Rejecting claims made by some liberal thinkers that it is not possible to balance individual rights with uncoerced civic responsibility, Etzioni explores a number of key issues which pose important questions for those concerned with promoting the common good in contemporary society. Are we morally obliged to do more for our communities beyond treating everyone as endowed with basic rights? Should privacy be regarded not merely as a right but also as an obligation? And should the right to free speech take priority over the need to protect children from harmful material in the media and on the internet?

Security First

“Rarely have more profound changes in American foreign policy been called for than today,” begins Amitai Etzioni in the preface to this book.

The Monochrome Society

In this book, Etzioni challenges those who argue that diversity or multiculturalism is about to become the governing American creed. On the surface, America may seem like a fractured mosaic, but the country is in reality far more socially monochromatic and united than most observers have claimed.

The Spirit of Community

In The Spirit of Community, Dr. Amitai Etzioni explains why the critical institutions of our society are in crisis and shows what we can do to restore them. Dr. Etzioni believes that many of our problems can be traced to the broad range of individual rights many Americans feel they deserve. Tough issues arise when rights such as free speech or the right to privacy conflict with the needs of the community: Can we justify protecting society by restricting hate speech or protecting motorists by allowing the police to conduct random sobriety tests?

Public Policy in a New Key

Public Policy in a New Key brings together an important contribution by a major social analyst on some of the most crucial policy questions of our time. These writings, which range widely over the spectrum of domestic and foreign policy questions are linked by a broadly conceived vision of sociological method that acts as a universal key to many social issues.

Next: The Road to the Good Society

The last eight years have seen the rise of the political center in American politics, but, as demonstrated by the recent presidential election, a clear agenda has not been articulated for the next decade. In Next, Amitai Etzioni argues that both parties have failed to address today's pressing domestic issues.

The Limits of Privacy

Privacy is one of our national obsessions. In this passionately argued and balanced investigation into the current privacy debate.

Political Unification Revisited

Can independent nations unify politically? Amitai Etzioni raised this searching question in his seminal 1965 book, Political Unification: A Comparative Study of Leaders and Forces. In this revised edition—now with an extensive new introduction—Etzioni convincingly argues that the experiment of collective self-determination is the only viable replacement for a perilously overloaded international system.

Martin Buber: und die kommunitarische idee

July 13, 1998

Die große Resonanz, die der Vortrag des renommierten deutschen Soziologen Prof Rene König Anfang des Jahres 1987 im Wiener Rathaus bei einem sehr großen Publikum fand, inspirierte die Idee einer Vorlesungsreihe im Rathaus zu den großen Problemen und Überlebensfragen der Menschen am Ausgang des 20. Jahrhunderts.

Hot Spots: American Foreign Policy in a Post-Human Rights World

In Hot Spots (Transaction Publishers, 2012), a former senior advisor to the White House, Amitai Etzioni, criticizes current trends in American and Western foreign policy and the shifting of attention from the Middle East to China. Etzioni argues that the true hot spots continue to be in the Middle East, not the Far East, and that for now, China should be treated by the United States as a potential global partner, not as an adversary.

Privacy in a Cyber Age: Policy and Practice

The advent of the cyber age fundamentally reduced our ability to protect our privacy: the main threat is no longer the extent of the personal information is collected by various surveillance systems of the government (or corporations)—but how the information is used. Once collected, information can very often be accessed and misused by anyone in the world. This book lays out the foundations for a privacy doctrine suitable to the cyber age and examines the implications of the availability of personal information to corporations and major federal agencies. 

To learn more, including ways to purchase a copy of this book, click here. 

Law in a New Key: Essays on Law and Society

A book for thoughtful readers–and not particularly lawyers or scholars of law and society–who are engaged in the issues of the day and want something other than “easy” answers from the right and left. Most issues of law and social policy can be understood better through a lens that balances rights and interests–and protects all of us while protecting each of us–says renowned communitarian sociologist Amitai Etzioni in his latest of 30 books.

The New Normal: Finding a Balance Between Individual Rights and the Common Good

Etzioni implements the social philosophy, “liberal communitarianism.” Its key assumptions are that neither individual rights nor the common good should be privileged, that both are core values, and that a balance is necessary between them. Etzioni argues that we need to find a new balance between our desire for more goods, services, and affluence, particularly because economic growth may continue to be slow and jobs anemic. The key question is what makes a good life, especially for those whose basic needs are sated. This book is now available for purchase on Amazon!

The New Golden Rule

The New Golden Rule takes its title from the familiar adage to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". But when taken to a society-wide level, the Golden Rule's admonition expands, taking the formulation "respect and uphold society's moral order as you would have society respect and uphold your autonomy to live a full life".

From Empire to Community

Whether one favors the U.S. global projection of force or is horrified by it, the question stands - where do we go from here? What ought to be the new global architecture? Amitai Etzioni follows a third way, drawing on both neoconservative and liberal ideas, in this bold new look at international relations. He argues that a "clash of civilizations" can be avoided and that the new world order need not look like America. Eastern values, including spirituality and moderate Islam, have a legitimate place in the evolving global public philosophy.

Book Reviews

The Communitarian Constitution by Beau Breslin

November 01, 2008

“The Communitarian Constitution by Beau Breslin,” Perspectives on Political Science 37, No. 1 (Winter 2008), pp. 60-61.

Unfortunately, the failed policies with which The Case for Democracy is associated will likely lead many to avoid this rich, interesting, and well-developed work.

America and the Limits of the Politics of Selfishness

April 01, 2008

“America and the Limits of the Politics of Selfishness,” Political Science Quarterly 123, No. 1 (Spring 2008), pp. 169-170.
Sidney Waldman, a professor of political science at Haberford College, holds that the poor state of equality of opportunity (particularly as indicated by a public education system that to a large extent continues to neglect those worst off), and the reckless foreign policy that has undermined America's global standing command a reexamination of American democracy.

The Moral Limits of Economic Growth

December 01, 2006

“The Moral Limits of Economic Growth,” Sociological Forum 21, No. 4 (December 2006), pp.175-179.
In an erudite book, Harvard economist Benjamin Friedman argues that economic growth does not mearly shower its beneficiaries with material goods but it also a moral blessing.