The `Public' up Against the State

Theory, Culture and Society 18 (1):121-144 (2001)
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This article explores the cultural dimension in democratic struggle from the vantage point of the public sphere. It proposes that in the public sphere there take place competing and changing interpretations over the `public' through continuous articulation of two analytically distinct representations of public interest - democratic and communal discourses. In an empirical study of the recent credibility crisis in Hong Kong, the author demonstrates first, how the governing coalition sought to maintain its authority through a discourse of `administrative efficiency' embedded in the hegemonic narrative of success, and second, how the challenging discourse of democracy regained momentum through de-mystification of the hegemonic narrative in the event of governing crises. The case study of the recent bird flu crisis offers a specific account of political and cultural challenge to bureaucratic paternalism in the postcolonial context. It is argued that the challenge was powerfully presented as the crisis became a dramatic moment of meaning reconstruction through ironic narrativizing and democratic encoding in the public sphere.



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Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays.[author unknown] - 1972 - Studies in Soviet Thought 12 (4):402-402.
Time and Narrative.Terri Graves Taylor - 1989 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 47 (4):380-382.

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