Europe, war and regulation

Professor Philip Schlesinger was a keynote speaker at the VII International Congress on Communication, Journalism and the Public Sphere, held at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, 13-15 July. The event celebrated the 60th anniversary of publication of Jürgen Habermas’s major work, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Taking off from this inspiration, and with the war in Ukraine as his starting-point, Philip Schlesinger revisited the ideal of a European public sphere, positioning it in contemporary geopolitics and the unresolved legacy of the Cold War. Drawing on his current AHRC-funded research on the ‘post-public sphere’ and platform regulation, he positioned his analysis within the wider crisis facing democratic communication, underlining how the increasingly frenetic quest for workable rules of the digital game was a proxy for rationalising the multifold crises now facing the socio-political order of the ‘west’.

First published: 2 August 2022