Thursday, November 04, 2010

New book: The Idea of the Public Sphere

The Idea of the Public Sphere: A Reader

Ed. by Jostein Gripsrud et. al.

(Lexington Books, 2010)

346 pages


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.


Editors' Introduction

I: The Enlightenment and the Liberal Idea of the Public Sphere

Immanuel Kant: An Answer to the Question: "What is Enlightenment?"
G.W.F. Hegel: Excerpt from Philosophy of Right
J.S. Mill: Excerpt On Liberty

II: "Mass Society", Democracy and Public Opinion

Walter Lippmann: Excerpt from The Phantom Public
John Dewey: Excerpt from The Public and its Problems
Joseph Schumpeter: Excerpt from Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
Carl Schmitt: Excerpt from The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy

III: The Public Sphere Rediscovered

Hannah Arendt: Excerpt from The Human Condition
Jürgen Habermas: "The Public Sphere: An Encyclopaedia Article"
Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge: Excerpt from Public Sphere and Experience
Nancy Fraser: "Rethinking the Public Sphere"

IV: The Public Sphere and Models of Democracy

Jon Elster: "The Market and the Forum: Three Varieties of Political Theory"
Niklas Luhmann: "Societal Complexity and Public Opinion"
Jürgen Habermas: Excerpt from Between Facts and Norms
John Rawls: "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited"

V: Current Challenges

Bernhard Peters: "National and Transnational Public Spheres"
James Bohman: "Expanding Dialogue"
Chantal Mouffe: "Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism?"
Seyla Benhabib: Excerpt from The Claims of Culture
Jürgen Habermas: "Religion in the Public Sphere"

Jostein Gripsrud is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. He is the author of "Understanding Media Culture" (Oxford University Press, 2002) and co-editor of "Media, Markets and Public Spheres. European Media at the Crossroads" (The University of Chicago Press, 2010).

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