Democracy and public discourse
Keywords:communication, public sphere, politics, democracy, culture, identity
The article explores the connection between politics of democracy and current communication medium. Color revolutions, particularly the one experienced in Ukraine, raise an issue of the present day relation between public and political spheres in the new global communicative context. Following the detailed analysis of the modern formation of public sphere done by Charles Taylor the author concentrates on the influence of communication on democratization processes. Amongst others, he focuses on such principle features of the public sphere as domination of rationality in its formation, its claims for providing accountability norms for power, and particularly on its extra-political status. In its turn, these key characteristics of the sphere include everyone as its potential legitimate participant. The field experience gained during the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity make it possible to correct the view on interrelations of politics and the public sphere. Recent developments do increase dependence of powers that be on the public’s day-to-day feeling of their legitimacy. To elucidate the new state of interpenetration between two given spheres the author examines the issue of specificity of discourse that unites both. It allows to establish that it’s precisely the democratic ideals, concerning each and every one, that expand the frameworks of the sphere of political beyond its traditional meaning through inclusion of a broad spectrum of people’s cultural experiences. The author links current co-existence of liberal and conservative values within liberal democracies with people’s experiencing of their cultural identity. That conclusion gives the basis to clarify a phenomenon of rising conservatism inherent in today’s politics.
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