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The Internet, public spheres, and political communication: Dispersion and deliberation

Dahlgren, Peter LU (2005) In Political Communication 22(2). p.147-162
Abstract
The theme of the Internet and the public sphere now has a permanent place on research agendas and in intellectual inquiry; it is entering the mainstream of Political communication studies. The first part of this presentation briefly pulls together key elements in the public sphere perspective, underscoring three main analytic dimensions: the structural, the representational, and the interactional. Then the discussion addresses some central themes in the current difficulties facing democracy, refracted through the lens of the public sphere perspective. In particular, the destabilization of political communication systems is seen as a context for understanding the role of the Internet: It enters into, as well as contributes to, this... (More)
The theme of the Internet and the public sphere now has a permanent place on research agendas and in intellectual inquiry; it is entering the mainstream of Political communication studies. The first part of this presentation briefly pulls together key elements in the public sphere perspective, underscoring three main analytic dimensions: the structural, the representational, and the interactional. Then the discussion addresses some central themes in the current difficulties facing democracy, refracted through the lens of the public sphere perspective. In particular, the destabilization of political communication systems is seen as a context for understanding the role of the Internet: It enters into, as well as contributes to, this destabilization. At the same time, the notion of destabilization can also embody a positive sense, pointing to dispersions of older patterns that may have outlived their utility. Further, the discussion takes up obvious positive consequences that follow from the Internet, for example that it extends and pluralizes the public sphere in a number of ways. Thereafter the focus moves on to the interactional dimension of the public sphere, specifically in regard to recent research on how deliberation proceeds in the online public sphere in the contemporary environment of political communication. Finally, the analytic category of deliberative democracy is critically examined; while useful, some of its rationalist biases, particularly in the context of extra-parliamentarian politics, limit its utility. It is suggested that the concept of civic cultures offers an alternative way to understand the significance of online political discussion. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
sphere, public, political communication, Internet, deliberation, democracy
in
Political Communication
volume
22
issue
2
pages
147 - 162
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000229439300002
  • scopus:19944370452
ISSN
1091-7675
DOI
10.1080/10584600590933160
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
75618309-76e8-4761-966c-702d5bbf7ec2 (old id 895426)
date added to LUP
2008-01-11 13:46:01
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:30:17
@article{75618309-76e8-4761-966c-702d5bbf7ec2,
  abstract     = {The theme of the Internet and the public sphere now has a permanent place on research agendas and in intellectual inquiry; it is entering the mainstream of Political communication studies. The first part of this presentation briefly pulls together key elements in the public sphere perspective, underscoring three main analytic dimensions: the structural, the representational, and the interactional. Then the discussion addresses some central themes in the current difficulties facing democracy, refracted through the lens of the public sphere perspective. In particular, the destabilization of political communication systems is seen as a context for understanding the role of the Internet: It enters into, as well as contributes to, this destabilization. At the same time, the notion of destabilization can also embody a positive sense, pointing to dispersions of older patterns that may have outlived their utility. Further, the discussion takes up obvious positive consequences that follow from the Internet, for example that it extends and pluralizes the public sphere in a number of ways. Thereafter the focus moves on to the interactional dimension of the public sphere, specifically in regard to recent research on how deliberation proceeds in the online public sphere in the contemporary environment of political communication. Finally, the analytic category of deliberative democracy is critically examined; while useful, some of its rationalist biases, particularly in the context of extra-parliamentarian politics, limit its utility. It is suggested that the concept of civic cultures offers an alternative way to understand the significance of online political discussion.},
  author       = {Dahlgren, Peter},
  issn         = {1091-7675},
  keyword      = {sphere,public,political communication,Internet,deliberation,democracy},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {147--162},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Political Communication},
  title        = {The Internet, public spheres, and political communication: Dispersion and deliberation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10584600590933160},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2005},
}