Get up! For what? Issues driven democracy in a transforming public sphere

Huijser, Hendrik and Little, Janine (2008) Get up! For what? Issues driven democracy in a transforming public sphere. Transformations, 16. ISSN 1444-3775

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It is no coincidence that the contested state and status of democracy is paralleled by debates about the media and the public sphere, for these concepts are intimately interwoven and interdependent. The increasing fragmentation of the media, accelerated by technological change and new media environments, is often seen as an important cause of a simultaneous fragmentation of the public sphere into ‘public sphericules’. In this context, GetUp! provides an interesting case study, as it can be seen as being implicated in all three of the developments referred to. In other words, it can be seen as at once a consequence of media fragmentation and a disintegrating public sphere, and a driver of a new form of democracy that we might call ‘issues-based’, rather than dependent on membership of, and loyalty to, traditional political parties. It thus appeals to distinct public sphericules, rather than a unified public sphere. This paper explores the potential of this new manifestation of democracy, as well as its limits. For if democracy is an idea that is ‘yet to arrive’, then surely we have a duty to ensure that it arrives at a desirable destination, if only momentarily.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version supplied by and deposited with the blanket permission of Publisher. Published version also freely available at the following link:
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2008 02:34
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: online democracy, issues based democracy, public sphere, media fragmentation
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200101 Communication Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200204 Cultural Theory
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160609 Political Theory and Political Philosophy

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