Explore polarization in the evolving public sphere where citizens’ opinions are exchanged and shaped. What are the implications for how individuals shape their political perspectives and tolerate those of others?
The public sphere in democracy is where ideas and opinions are formed, shaped and exchanged. This two-pronged series explores transformation of the public sphere and what it means for the exchange of diverse perspectives and the future of participation in healthy democratic societies.
Democracy and Public Debate
There is growing concern that public debate in liberal democratic societies is threatened by disinformation, echo chambers and targeted political advertising, that tend to polarize the public sphere where opinions are formed. But why is a vital public sphere that important for how we do democracy? How resilient are the spaces of exchange which shape opinions and ideas? Inspired by the deliberative concept of democracy (Habermas), Dr. Geert Munnichs goes into the delicate interaction between a vibrant public debate and political decision-making that is pivotal for democratic legitimacy. This vibrant public debate, in turn, presupposes a critical public audience and a reflexive attitude of citizens towards their political preferences and claims. Join us to put precisely these prerequisites for democratic decision-making under the spotlight and explore what is at stake if we don’t.
About Geert Munnichs
Geert studied Environmental Sciences, Philosophy and History (Wageningen University), and holds a PhD in social and political philosophy (University of Groningen). His dissertation looks into the prerequisites for democratic legitimacy in a pluralist, post-traditional society.