DisciplinePolitics, philosophy, critical theory, culture
Edited byDavid Pan
Publication details
Telos Press Publishing
0.065 (2013)
Standard abbreviations
ISO 4Telos
OCLC no.1785433

Telos is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes articles on politics, philosophy, and critical theory, with a particular focus on contemporary political, social, and cultural issues.[1][2][3][4]

Established in May 1968 with the intention of providing the New Left with a coherent theoretical perspective, in the 1980s it turned to the right politically.[5][2][6]


Founded in May 1968 at SUNY-Buffalo,[1] the journal sought to expand the Husserlian diagnosis of "the crisis of European sciences" to prefigure a particular program of social reconstruction relevant for the United States. In order to avoid the high level of abstraction typical of Husserlian phenomenology, the journal began introducing the ideas of Western Marxism and of the critical theory of the Frankfurt School.[7][8][9][10]

With the disintegration of the New Left and the gradual integration of what remained of the American Left within the Democratic Party, Telos became increasingly critical of the Left in general. It subsequently undertook a reevaluation of 20th century intellectual history, focusing on authors and ideas including the Nazi legal philosopher Carl Schmitt[5] and American populism. Eventually the journal rejected the traditional divisions between Left and Right as a legitimating mechanism for new class domination and an occlusion of new, post-Fordist political conflicts. This led to a reevaluation of the primacy of culture and to efforts to understand the dynamics of cultural disintegration and reintegration as a precondition for the constitution of that autonomous individuality critical theory had always identified as the telos of Western civilization.[11][12][13]

The academic Joan Braune writes that Telos turned to right-wing politics in the 1980s, when editor Paul Piccone supported United States intervention in Nicaragua.[5] In 1994, the paleoconservative Sam Francis was the keynote speaker at a Telos conference about populism.[5][14] Telos had ties to the paleoconservative Chronicles magazine, and was sympathetic to the Lega Nord in Italy, but Telos differed from paleoconservatives by supporting military intervention by NATO against Serbia in 1999 to prevent ethnic cleansing.[6] Braune in 2019 described Telos as far-right, writing that the journal had translated the French New Right figure Alain de Benoist and had written favorably about the Russian fascist Aleksandr Dugin.[5]

The journal is published by Telos Press Publishing and the editor-in-chief is David Pan.[15] It is affiliated with the Telos Institute, which hosts annual conferences of which the proceedings are often published in Telos.

Abstracting and indexing

The journal is abstracted and indexed in the Social Sciences Citation Index, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Current Contents/Social & Behavioral Sciences, and Current Contents/Arts & Humanities.[16] According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2013 impact factor of 0.065, ranking it 133rd out of 138 journals in the category "Sociology".[17]

Telos Press Publishing

Telos Press Publishing was founded by Paul Piccone, the first editor-in-chief of Telos, and is the publisher of both the journal Telos as well as a separate book line. It is based in Candor, New York.


  1. ^ a b Gary Genosko with Kristina Marcellus, Back Issues: Periodicals and the Formation of Critical and Cultural Theory in Canada (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2019): 1-20.
  2. ^ a b Elisabeth K. Chaves, Reviewing Political Criticism: Journals, Intellectuals, and the State (New York: Routledge, 2016): 84-90
  3. ^ Stephen Eric Bronner, Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2017): 87, 90.
  4. ^ "About Telos". Telos Press. Retrieved December 9, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d e Braune, Joan (2019). "Who's Afraid of the Frankfurt School? "Cultural Marxism" as an Antisemitic Conspiracy Theory" (PDF). Journal of Social Justice. 9 (2164–7100): 1–25.
  6. ^ a b Ashbee, Edward (March 2000). "Politics of paleoconservatism". Society. 37 (3): 75–84. doi:10.1007/BF02686179. ISSN 0147-2011.
  7. ^ Genosko, Gary (2004). "The Arrival of Jean Baudrillard in English Translation: Mark Poster and Telos Press". International Journal of Baudrillard Studies. 1 (2).
  8. ^ Timothy Luke, "The Trek with Telos: A Remembrance of Paul Piccone (January 19, 1940—July 12, 2004)", Fast Capitalism, vol. 1, no. 2 (2005).
  9. ^ Luke, Timothy (2005). "The Trek with Telos: A Remembrance of Paul Piccone (January 17, 1940 — July 12, 2004)". Fast Capitalism. 1 (2): 137–141. doi:10.32855/fcapital.200502.015.
  10. ^ Kenneth Anderson, "Telos, the critical theory journal and its blog," November 18, 2007.
  11. ^ Danny Postel, "The metamorphosis of Telos," In These Times, April 21-30, 1991.
  12. ^ Russell Jacoby, The Last Intellectuals: American Culture in the Age of Academe (New York: Basic Books, 1987): 151-52.
  13. ^ Jennifer M. Lehmann, Social Theory as Politics in Knowledge (New York: Emerald Group Publishing, 2005): 81-82.
  14. ^ Drolet, Jean-François; Williams, Michael C. (January 2, 2020). "America first: paleoconservatism and the ideological struggle for the American right". Journal of Political Ideologies. 25 (1): 28–50. doi:10.1080/13569317.2020.1699717. ISSN 1356-9317.
  15. ^ "About the Editor". Telos Press. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  16. ^ "Master Journal List". Intellectual Property & Science. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  17. ^ "Journals Ranked by Impact: Sociology". 2013 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Social Sciences ed.). Thomson Reuters. 2012.