Stasis announces a new call for papers for a thematic issue to be published in 2018: Between the Public and the Common
Since the mid twentieth century, the notion of the public, or Öffentlichkeit, has become a focal point for most normative reflections on democracy. It appeared that electoral democracy and the protection of rights were not enough to integrate the people and to create an atmosphere of freedom: something else was needed, something that was not a procedure or an object but rather a space or a system of relationships. The renaissance of republicanism and the theories of deliberative democracy were developed to understand this need and to establish its conditions. Today, fifty years on, the need to foster public spirit in the twenty-first century is more urgent than ever. However, history has taught us of the structural obstacles that get in the way: the industrialization and commercialization of the media, the terrorist tactics of militant groups, and the elitism of the existing public sphere make the ideal of an inclusive common world look dim. Alternative notions, such as "counter-publics" and the "commons" have been advanced instead, but do they manage to capture the initial intuition of the ephemeral public spirit? Can the public and republican space be extended into the zones of poverty or postcolonial liminality, for example? Can it be imagined above or apart from international and geopolitical divisions?
These and related questions will be the focus of the upcoming issue of Stasis: the deadline for submission is September 15, 2017.