Beyond Habermas: Democracy, Knowledge, and the Public Sphere

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Christian Emden, David R. Midgley
Berghahn Books, 2013 - History - 226 pages

During the 1960s the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas introduced the notion of a “bourgeois public sphere” in order to describe the symbolic arena of political life and conversation that originated with the cultural institutions of the early eighteenth-century; since then the “public sphere” itself has become perhaps one of the most debated concepts at the very heart of modernity. For Habermas, the tension between the administrative power of the state, with its understanding of sovereignty, and the emerging institutions of the bourgeoisie—coffee houses, periodicals, encyclopedias, literary culture, etc.—was seen as being mediated by the public sphere, making it a symbolic site of public reasoning. This volume examines whether the “public sphere” remains a central explanatory model in the social sciences, political theory, and the humanities.

 

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Contents

Beyond Habermas? From the Bourgeois Public Sphere to Global Publics
1
Part I Public Opinion in the Democratic Polity
17
Chapter 1 Public Sphere and Political Experience
19
Chapter 2 Public Opinion and the Public Sphere
29
Chapter 3 The Tyranny of Majority Opinion in the Public Sphere
42
Part III Knowledge and the Public Sphere
61
On the Trading Zones of Knowledge
63
Chapter 5 The Public in Public Health
87
Part III Democracy Philosophy and Global Publics
117
Digitization Pluralism and Communicative Democracy
119
Normativity Legitimation and Meaning in the Public Sphere
147
The Democratic Transformation of the Public Sphere?
169
Bibliography
205
Contributors
218
Index
221
Copyright

How the Internet and Free Software Make Things Public
99

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About the author (2013)

David Midgley is Professor in German Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge, England, and a Fellow of St. John's College. His publications include WritingWeimar: Critical Realismin German Literature, 1918-1933 (Oxford University Press, 2000).

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