Unbounded Publics

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This book is about the public sphere and the various ways it has been theorized as a driving mechanism for social and political change. Public spheres are the places where people come together to actively engage in new ideas and arguments, where collective interests and a collective political will are formed, and where social movements and rebellions get their start. Conventionally, the public sphere has been understood nationally—as a body made up of citizens who gather in particular places and times and who speak to the governments that claim to represent them. But increasingly, in light of debates about globalization, theorists are considering the political possibilities for transnational public spheres. The public sphere is generally discussed in either a national or transnational context. Unbounded Publics argues that there has been and can be a different kind of sphere, atransgressive public sphere, one that exists in both contexts at once. Power, politics, and people do not always abide by imagined or legally enforced boundaries. Throughout history, various publics have struggled to hold sway—to wield political influence—and often, these public spheres have been simultaneously national and transnational in important ways. The most self-consciously transgressive public spheres have been formed by structurally disadvantaged people—by those excluded from participation, by those with unstable or partial citizenship, and by those who are neglected or marginalized. Gilman-Opalsky's guiding illustration of the transgressive public sphere in the book is found in the case of the Mexican Zapatistas. This book is a valuable resource for those interested in political theories of the public sphere, globalization, cosmopolitanism, social movements, and political identity. Moreover, the author argues for a vital new way to think about, discuss, and participate in public spheres today. Without transgressive public spheres, Gilman-Opalsky contends, institutions that function both within and beyond natio

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739124796
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 382
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

General Introduction xi

Part I: Public Spheres And The National Framework 1

Introduction to Part I 3

1 Basic Concepts and Terms: Political Public Spheres and Communicative Power 13

2 A Prefigured National Framework: Legitimation and the Public Sphere 45

3 Habermas' Classical Theory in Light of Nonbourgeois Public Spheres 67

Part II Public Spheres And The Transnational Framework 115

Introduction to Part II 117

4 "Globalization": A New Topography for the Public Sphere? 127

5 Transnational Cosmopolitan Public Spheres and a Turn Against the National Framework 145

6 Beyond the National/Transnational Dichotomy: Moving Toward a Theory of Transgressive Public Spheres 203

Part III Transgressive Public Spheres 225

Introduction to Part III 227

7 A Different Kind of Public Sphere: The Zapatistas' Transgressive Public Sphere 239

8 Indigenous Identity and the Recasting of Subject Positions 273

9 The Case for Transgressive Public Spheres 303

Conclusion 333

Bibliography 343

Index 351

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