The Global Public Sphere

The public sphere, albeit an ideal, is the concept of a autonomous communication process that is dedicated to rational debate, according to Jürgen Habermas. Despite being the model for honest discourse, it was soon sullied by the rise of commercial interests and later merely a stage for displays of power. Recently, the rise of wireless communications and internet technology have created a new form for the public sphere that occurs globally. There is a clear audience for issues of domestic and international importance, that has not been completely overcome by low-quality, shallow news content.

The public sphere now operates more on a cultural level than solely on the level of power relationships. According to Manuel Castells (2008), globalization is the process that constitutes a social system with the capacity to work as a unit on a planetary scale in real or chosen time. He goes on to say that not everything or everyone is globalized, but the global networks that structure the planet affect everything and everyone. This is because all the core economic, communicative and cultural activities are globalized. [1] I agree and this is what makes the idea of a public sphere, more importantly a global public sphere, so important to international communication.

– Laurel B.


1. Castells, M. (2008). The New Public Sphere: Global Civil Society, Communication Networks, and Global Governance. The Annals Of The American Academy Of Political And Social Science, vol. 616, no. 1, pp. 78-93.



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