By John R. Parkinson
In an internet, interconnected international, democracy is more and more made of wikis and blogs, pokes and tweets. electorate became unintentional reporters due to their hand-held units, politicians are more and more operating on-line, and the conventional websites of democracy--assemblies, public galleries, and plazas--are changing into much less and no more appropriate with each new expertise. And but, Democracy and Public Space argues, such perspectives are major us to confuse the medium with the message, concentrating on digital transmission while frequently what cyber electorate transmit is images and narratives of genuine democratic motion in actual house. Democratic electorate are embodied, soak up house, conflict over entry to actual assets, and practice democracy on actual phases no less than up to they interact with principles in digital house.
Combining conceptual research with interviews and commentary in capital towns on each continent, John Parkinson argues that democracy calls for actual public area, that a few different types of house are higher for doing some democratic roles than others, and that the most worthwhile different types of area are lower than assault in built democracies. He argues that unintentional publics like consumers and lunchtime crowds are more and more valued over purposive, lively publics, over electorate with some degree to make or an issue to hear. this is often noticeable not only within the means that conventional protest is regulated, yet within the ways in which usual urban streets and parks are controlled, even within the layout of such quintessentially democratic areas as legislative assemblies. Democracy and Public Space deals an alternate imaginative and prescient for democratic public area, and evaluates eleven cities--from London to Tokyo--against that excellent.
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Extra info for Democracy and Public Space: The Physical Sites of Democratic Performance
The implications are these: it is a functional requirement of democracy that binding collective decision-making takes place in a single, visible, and accessible venue; and it is a requirement of democracy that public claims be made in places that are conducive to being noticed and taken seriously by the rest of the demos. From those two claims, a great deal follows. Having produced a working deﬁnition of democracy, Chapter three offers a working deﬁnition of public space. It starts with the public/private distinction, arguing that it is misleading because it overlies a set of quite different, often-competing distinctions concerning the nature of ‘the public’, the places where they gather, and the things that the public is or should be concerned about.
It is on this point that I go further than Hajer (2005), who suggests that it is meaningless to seek a general account of links between political acts and their appropriate scenes, drawing on Kenneth Burke’s idea (1969) of the ‘scene–act ratio’, and that instead it is only worthwhile looking at how particular ratios are constructed in particular cases. 5 I think we can theorize what those limits might be, and here I offer some thoughts on appropriate setting. The ﬁrst democratic role is narrating political issues with each other, not only helping form their own views but also distributing opinion and storylines through the system as a whole.
The modern media does not merely transmit words; it transmits still and moving pictures, taken by journalists, and also by passers-by on mobile phones, or captured on security cameras and shared on newspaper websites and YouTube alike. In that environment, intentional communication becomes highly performative, and Hajer spends much time showing the degree to which political images are the intended or unintended results of a scripted performance, in which issues of staging, lighting, audience access, symbolism, and interaction between actors are all important.