Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Global Public Sphere

  • Milton Fisk
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_611

The Public Sphere

How can we characterize the public sphere? It is an arena for debates and decisions open to everyone, either in person or through a chosen delegate, who would be significantly affected by the outcome of those debates and decisions. A community that debates and votes on a school levy has a public sphere. In contrast, an arena that excludes some who would be affected by its debates and decisions is part of the private sphere. Thus a family and a for-profit company belong to the private sphere.

But precisely what is it that is open to debate and decision in the public sphere? It is ultimately the design and execution of ideas affecting the society in which there is this arena for open discussion and decision. This leads to our asking whether there is any standard at work in these discussions and decisions about society? Without some standard there is no reason to have such an arena. We have a reason for the public sphere if the standard it uses is that its ideas and...

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  1. Fisk M (2000) Surviving with dignity in a global economy: the battle for public goods. In: Anatol A, Fisk M, Holmstrom N (eds) Not for sale: in defense of public goods. Westview Press, Boulder, pp 41–63Google Scholar
  2. Fisk M (2004) Bienes Públicos y Justicia Radical. Programa & Editorial Universidad del Valle, Cali, Chap. 6. Available in English at www.miltonfisk.org as “Global public goods and self-interest”
  3. Habermas J (1996) Between facts and norms (trans: Rehg W). MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, Chap.8, Sec. 3.1 (Habermas includes discussion but not decision in his more detached view of the public sphere)Google Scholar
  4. de Sousa Santos B (2006) The rise of the global left: the World Social Forum and beyond. Zed Books, New York, Chap.3 (De Sousa speaks here about a counter-hegemonic globalization)Google Scholar
  5. Stiglitz JE (1999) Knowledge as a public good. In: Kaul I, Grunberg I, Stern MA (eds) Global public goods. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 308–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milton Fisk
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA