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HABERMAS'S VIEWS ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PUBLIC SPHERE IN A DEMOCRACY: Its Possible Relevance in Understanding the Public Sphere in India

Richa Tiwari
The Indian Journal of Political Science
Vol. 67, No. 3 (JULY - SEPT., 2006), pp. 639-650
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41856248
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
HABERMAS'S VIEWS ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PUBLIC SPHERE IN A DEMOCRACY: Its Possible Relevance in Understanding the Public Sphere in India
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Abstract

The paper seeks to analyse the significance of the public sphere in the realm of democracy as postulated by Jürgen Habermas in his book entitled The Structural Transformation of the Public-Sphere. This attempt is made first by examining the nature and role played by the public sphere in Western Europe especially Britain, as proposed by Habermas and then a possible reflection of his work on the understanding of the public sphere in India. Finally, through means of contrasts which exists in the nature and role of public sphere in the democracies of both nations, we try to develop an understanding of the importance of a rationally critical public sphere which makes democracy a success in its true spirit a possibility, as it exists in Britain. The question which motivates this kind of comparison is - When both nations have a democratic form of government, why is democracy as a form of government more successful in Britain than it is in India ? Undoubtedly, this departure is an outcome of a combination of difference in historical, cultural and political histories of both countries. However, the role of public sphere as it exists in both countries plays a major role in determining the measure of success of democracy.

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