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Jurgen Habermas

Jurgen Habermas

Democracy and the Public Sphere

Luke Goode

Series: Modern European Thinkers

"For scholars of communication, democracy and citizenship, who are seeking a clear and critical overview, this is a valuable and timely book." Political Studies Review

Habermas is a hugely influential thinker, yet his writing can be dense and inaccessible. This critical introduction offers undergraduates a clear way into Habermas's concept of the 'public sphere' and its relevance to contemporary society. Luke Goode's lively account also sheds new light on the 'public sphere' debate that will interest readers already familiar with Habermas's work.

For Habermas, the 'public sphere' was a social forum that allowed people to debate -- whether it was the town hall or the coffee house, maintaining a space for public debate was an essential part of democracy. Habermas's controversial work examines the erosion of these spaces within consumer society and calls for new thinking about democracy today.

Drawing on Habermas's early and more recent writings, this book examines the 'public sphere' in its full complexity, outlining its relevance to today's media and culture. It will be of interest to students and scholars in a range of disciplines across the social sciences and humanities.

Luke Goode is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Auckland. He is the author of Jurgen Habermas (Pluto, 2005).

'This is an excellent, useful book' - Don Mitchell, Department of Geography, Syracuse University

'For readers who are seeking a clear and critical overview of the Habermasian public sphere, this is a valuable and timely book' - David Sullivan, Political Studies Review

INTRODUCTION
1. EXCAVATIONS: THE HISTORY OF A CONCEPT
i) Introduction
ii) The bourgeois public sphere
iii) The fall of the bourgeois public sphere
iv) Critical publicity and late capitalism
2. DISCURSIVE TESTING: THE PUBLIC SPHERE AND ITS CRITICS
i) Introduction
ii) Lessons from history
iii) Equality and emancipation
iv) Rationality and embodiment
3. RECONFIGURATIONS: THE PUBLIC SPHERE SINCE STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION
i) Introduction
ii) Scientism and politics
iii) System, lifeworld and communicative action
iv) The politics of the other
4. MEDIATIONS: FROM THE COFFEE HOUSE TO THE INTERNET CAFE
i) Introduction
ii) The fall of the agora
iii) A public sphere in bits?
5. UNFINISHED PROJECTS: REFLEXIVE DEMOCRACY
i) Introduction
ii) Reflexive agency
iii) Risk and reflexivity
iv) Revisiting the public sphere
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Published by Pluto Press in Oct 2005
Paperback ISBN: 9780745320885

176 pages

135mm x 215mm