Essex Human Rights Review

Posted on September 28, 2006

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Essex Human Rights Review are soliciting submissions on a rolling basis. There is the potential for a small article or a review here.

The most likely topic for an article seems to be the problem posed by freedom of expression – which is often held to be a human right – in places like China, where the government controls access to media. There is a direct correspondence between this and Habermas’s theory of the public sphere (Offentichkeit). Habermas always defended the need for a free and unfettered public sphere of debate, but recently seems to have reconsidered. His acceptance speech upon receiving the Bruno-Kreisky-Preises in March 2006 suggests that the subversiveness of bloggers and other dissidents living under conditions of totalitarianism is enhanced and focused compared to the West, where unedited and ill-informed contributions to public debate now abound. This, however, carries a note of intellectual elitism. Could this kind of argument convincingly be used to restrict access to public debate?

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Posted in: Leads