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Evaluating Communication in the British Parliamentary Public Sphere

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journal contribution
posted on 05.08.2022, 01:02 authored by Aeron DavisAeron Davis
This article begins with a re-evaluation of political communication research based on Habermas' original theory of the public sphere. It presents Habermas' alternative framework for assessing communication in contemporary ‘actually existing democracies’. The model is then tested with a case study of the UK parliamentary public sphere based on 95 semi-structured interviews with political actors (politicians, journalists and officials). It concludes that parliament today operates rather better, according to public sphere norms, than the public sphere described in Habermas' accounts of 18th and 19th-century England. Such a finding, on its own, is clearly at odds with public perception. The research accordingly offers two explanations for this disparity and the (perceived) crisis of political legitimacy in UK politics.

History

Preferred citation

Davis, A. (2009). Evaluating Communication in the British Parliamentary Public Sphere. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 11(2), 280-297. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-856x.2008.00344.x

Journal title

The British Journal of Politics and International Relations

Volume

11

Issue

2

Publication date

01/05/2009

Pagination

280-297

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

01/05/2009

ISSN

1369-1481

eISSN

1467-856X

Language

en