Consensus and Dissensus in the Public Sphere: How East Asian associations use publicity

Taru Salmenkari
2014 Studia Orientalia Electronica  
Jürgen Habermas has developed a model describing how civil society can use the public sphere to influence politics. Habermas assumes that, because discourse in the public sphere is open, inclusive, anonymous, and autonomous, the public sphere is best setting in which to develop consensus about common affairs. However, when this model is examined in the context of political advocacy by East Asian associations, the public sphere turns out to be characterized by dissensus rather than consensus.
more » ... sensus is enabled by trust, shared aims, exclusions, bargaining and exchanges, predictable decision-making procedures, or authority. These conditions helpful for consensus building are often lacking in the public sphere. Nonetheless, civil society can be politically influential because it can use minority influence and cross the state-society boundary.
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