Civil society, cosmopolitics and the net: the legacy of 15 February 2003

Hands, Joss (2006) Civil society, cosmopolitics and the net: the legacy of 15 February 2003. Information, Communication and Society, 9 (2). pp. 225-243. ISSN 1468-4462

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The global demonstrations on 15 February 2003 against the impending invasion of Iraq were on an unprecedented scale, and generated a great deal of commentary and debate. One response was that of Jrgen Habermas, supported by Jacques Derrida, who in an article entitled, 'February 15, or What Binds Europeans Together: A Plea for a Common European Foreign Policy, Beginning in the Core of Europe', suggests the events may be a 'sign of the birth of a European public sphere' and used the occasion to launch a call for a common European foreign and defence policy. In response to that piece this article questions whether the events of 15 February can really be seen as such a birth date, and argues that what the demonstrations indicate is rather the maturing of a global civil society. The role of technology, specifically the Internet, in the organization and form of the protests is ignored by Habermas in his analysis, and results in a blind spot concerning the events, which misses some of its most important elements. Rather than calling for a common European foreign and defence policy we should be looking towards a 'double democratization' on a global scale that reflects the significance of global civil society in the formal structures of a global parliament, and that must address technology as an important element in generating participation and deliberation amongst a global citizenry.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: global civil society, cosmopolitics, anti-globalization movement, European public sphere, Internet, 15 February 2003
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2010 13:04
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:03

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