At the end of the last century, social theories such as Marxism and Durkheimian Sociology could lay claim to a critical role in public affairs. They promised a unique knowledge of modern society which would fulfil the radical potential of modernity. At the end of the present century these claims are no longer credible and the prospects for radical social theory are uncertain. Modernist Radicalism and its Aftermath investigates the ways in which Marx, Durkheim, Althusser and Habermas are all drawn towards foundationalism, and offers a framework for the analysis of foundationalism in social theory. The articulation of an alternative `post foundational' radicalism is far from simple. Important themes are identified in the work of Simmel, Weber and Adorno and in some postmodernist theory, but they are at constant risk of regression into metaphysics or nihilism. The book closes with a plea for radicalism which can maintain the accountability of enquiry while facing up to the contingency of value. Modernist Radicalism and its Aftermath offers both an interpretation of `classical' social theory and an engagement with contemporary debates on modernity and postmodernity.