Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Book: "Transnationalizing the Public Sphere"

Transnationalizing the Public Sphere

by Nancy Fraser et. al.

(Polity Press, 2014)

176 pages


Is Habermas’s concept of the public sphere still relevant in an age of globalization, when the transnational flows of people and information have become increasingly intensive and when the nation-state can no longer be taken granted as the natural frame for social and political debate? This is the question posed with characteristic acuity by Nancy Fraser in her influential article ‘Transnationalizing the Public Sphere?’ Challenging careless uses of the term ‘global public sphere’, Fraser raises the debate about the nature and role of the public sphere in a global age to a new level. While drawing on the richness of Habermas’s conception and remaining faithful to the spirit of critical theory, Fraser thoroughly reconstructs the concepts of inclusion, legitimacy and efficacy for our globalizing times. 

This book includes Fraser’s original article as well as specially commissioned contributions that raise searching questions about the theoretical assumptions and empirical grounds of Fraser’s argument. They are concerned with the fundamental premises of Habermas’s development of the concept of the public sphere as a normative ideal in complex societies; the significance of the fact that the public sphere emerged in modern states that were also imperial; whether ‘scaling up’ to a global public sphere means giving up on local and national publics; the role of ‘counterpublics’ in developing alternative globalization; and what inclusion might possibly mean for a global public. Fraser responds to these questions in detail in an extended reply to her critics.

Contents [preview]


1. Transnationalizing the Public Sphere - Nancy Fraser

2. Towards Transnational Democratization? - Kate Nash 

3. Time, Politics and Critique - Kimberly Hutchings

4. What and Where is the Transnationalized Public Sphere? - Nick Couldry

5. Putting the Social Back into the Transnational Public Sphere - Fuyuki Kurasawa

6. Dilemmas of Inclusion - David Owen

7. Publicity, Subjection, Critique: A Reply to My Critics - Nancy Fraser

Nancy Fraser is Professor of Political and Social Science at the New School for Social Research, NYC. She is the author of "Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory" (Polity Press, 1989), "Redistribution or Recognition? A Political-Philosophical Exchange" (Verso, 2003) [co-authored with Axel Honneth] and "Scales of Justice: Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World" (Polity Press, 2008).

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