William Outhwaite, born 1949, studied at the Universities of Oxford and Sussex and is Professor of Sociology at the University of Newcastle. He is the author of Understanding Social Life: The Method Called Verstehen, Allen & Unwin, 1975, second edition Jean Stroud, 1986; Concept Formation in Social Science, Routledge, 1983; New Philosophies of Social Science: Realism, Hermeneutics and Critical Theory, Macmillan, 1987; Habermas. A Critical Introduction, Polity Press, 1994, The Future of Society, Blackwell, 2006) and (with Larry Ray) Social Theory and Postcommunism, Blackwell, 2005). He edited The Habermas Reader, Polity Press, 1996; (with Tom Bottomore) The Blackwell Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Social Thought, Blackwell, 1993; The Blackwell Dictionary of Modern Social Thought, Blackwell, 1993; (with Luke Martell) The Sociology of Politics, Edward Elgar, 1998, and (with Margaret Archer) Defending Objectivity, Routledge 2004. He is currently working on a book on society and culture in contemporary Europe.