The Idea of the Public Sphere

The Idea of the Public Sphere : A Reader

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The notion of 'the public sphere' has become increasingly central to theories and studies of democracy, media, and culture over the last few decades. It has also gained political importance in the context of the European Union's efforts to strengthen democracy, integration, and identity. The Idea of the Public Sphere offers a wide-ranging, accessible, and easy-to-use introduction to one of the most influential ideas in modern social and political thought, tracing its development from the origins of modern democracy in the Eighteenth Century to present day debates. This book brings key texts by the leading contributors in the field together in a single volume. It explores current topics such as the role of religion in public affairs, the implications of the internet for organizing public deliberation, and the transnationalisation of public issues.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 346 pages
  • 181 x 260 x 18mm | 608g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739141988
  • 9780739141984
  • 720,527

Table of contents

1 Preface 2 Acknowledgments 3 Editors' Introduction Part 4 I: The Enlightenment and the Liberal Idea of the Public Sphere 5 Introduction to section I 6 Introduction to Kant 7 Immanuel Kant: An Answer to the Question: "What is Enlightenment?" 8 Introduction to Hegel 9 G.W.F. Hegel: Excerpt from Philosophy of Right 10 Introduction to Mill 11 J.S. Mill: Excerpt On Liberty Part 12 II: "Mass Society", Democracy and Public Opinion 13 Introduction to section II 14 Introduction to Lippmann 15 Walter Lippmann: Excerpt from The Phantom Public 16 Introduction to Dewey 17 John Dewey: Excerpt from The Public and its Problems 18 Introduction to Schumpeter 19 Joseph Schumpeter: Excerpt from Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy 20 Introduction to Schmitt 21 Carl Schmitt: Excerpt from The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy Part 22 III: The Public Sphere Rediscovered 23 Introduction to section III 24 Introduction to Arendt 25 Hannah Arendt: Excerpt from The Human Condition 26 Introduction to Habermas I 27 Jurgen Habermas: "The Public Sphere: An Encyclopaedia Article" 28 Introduction to Negt and Kluge 29 Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge: Excerpt from Public Sphere and Experience: Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere 30 Introduction to Fraser 31 Nancy Fraser: "Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy" Part 32 IV: The Public Sphere and Models of Democracy 33 Introduction to section IV 34 Introduction to Elster 35 Jon Elster: "The Market and the Forum: Three Varieties of Political Theory" 36 Introduction to Luhmann 37 Niklas Luhmann: "Societal Complexity and Public Opinion" 38 Introduction to Habermas II 39 Jurgen Habermas: Excerpt from Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy 40 Introduction to Rawls 41 John Rawls: "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited" Part 42 V: Current Challenges 43 Introduction to section V 44 Introduction to Peters 45 Bernhard Peters: "National and Transnational Public Spheres" 46 Introduction to Bohman 47 James Bohman: "Expanding Dialogue: The Internet, Public Sphere, and Transnational Democracy" 48 Introduction to Mouffe 49 Chantal Mouffe: "Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism?" 50 Introduction to Benhabib 51 Seyla Benhabib: Excerpt from The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era 52 Introduction to Habermas III 53 Jurgen Habermas: "Religion in the Public Sphere" 54 Bibliography and Further Readings
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Review quote

The idea of the public sphere has been a vital part of democratic theory throughout the modern era. This helpful reader provides the intellectual and historical background to enable those thinking about these issues today to connect the most important contemporary contributions to their intellectual history. -- Craig Calhoun, University Professor of Social Sciences, Arizona State University Though much has been written about the public sphere, this ambitious and generous collection of key texts is truly in a class by itself. While tracing the intellectual history of the concept from the Enlightenment, the volume also probes its links to other key notions such as democracy, culture, media, and multiculturalism, placing it in the context of contemporary debates. Framed by edifying and accessible introductions - to the whole volume, to the seven sections, and to each one of the texts - this book will prove to be an immensely useful resource. It destined to become a classic volume on this topic. -- Peter Dahlgren, Lund University This is a timely and long-needed introduction to the roots of public sphere thinking, which could help to better understand some burning contemporary controversies in the filed. -- Slavko Splichal, University of Ljubljana
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About Jostein Gripsrud

Jostein Gripsrud is professor of Media Studies at the University of Bergen in Norway. Hallvard Moe is associate professor of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen in Norway. Anders Molander is associate professor and research coordinator at the Center for the Study of Professions at Oslo University College in Norway. Graham Murdock is reader in the sociology of Culture at Loughborough University.
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