The Possibility of a Transnational Public Sphere & New Cosmopolitanism within the Networked Times: Understanding a Digital Global Utopia: “” and a Global Media Event: “Freedom Flotilla”

Basak Sarigollu 1 *

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The 19th and 20th centuries have been structured with full of struggles to reshape and define a new state model. Each territory fought for specifying its own dimensions, rules and regulations, values and certain ways of collective thinking that are determined with reference to an ethnic root. This struggle lasted for decades and for some generations the constitution of a state meant blood, starving and for many it meant tears. The output of such efforts had been the so called glorious nation states of the last century. In fact, the concept did not only lead to some regulations and sharing with reference to an ethnic common past but also to the notion of the nation state that has bore the promises of: common good, administration of citizens in the most possible democratic ways under the concept modern citizenship (which concerns mainly the constitution), moral- material security and welfare. Such promises of the early 20th century have been celebrated with the hope of emancipation and democracy. They had been glorified with the hope of Enlightenment, certain effects of the liberal economy and with the project of modernity.
As a matter of fact, through various changes in the social global arena which has witnessed the two disastrous World Wars, the demise of the liberal economy and social- security systems, the power and the ongoing structure of the nation states had been started to be questioned. The transnational corporations, global agreements, and transnational organization which in a way deconstructed the solid premises of nation states, offered both to the citizens and to the leaders of the World something new. This was something more flowing, something that both challenged the existing ways of administration and the current definitions of time, space, citizenship and identity. Through the rise of globalization with the compression in time and space by the new communication technologies and the neo- liberal (new social) movements, the certain ways of doing, certain codes and certain rules were not only challenged but also had shown the people all around the globe that there are alternatives to the patterns that they are familiar with.
Such a shift both in terms of ideology and sociology questioned the belonging that citizens construct with their states. The actual possibility of multiple belongings were defined not territorially nor ethnically, but had been fed by the new communication technologies that so practically redefined the actuality of time, space and identity. A vast number of people all around the globe started to live lives that are networked and were allowed to share their own dreams of emancipation through that certain networks by not only being in function but also by taking action locally and globally.
This paper, by following such discussions questions the possibility of a transnational public sphere in a networked society and the concept of the new cosmopolitan identity within the times of network societies. By studying two cases: an international issue between Israel and Turkey that through new media technologies turned out to be a global phenomenon: the case of “ Freedom Flotilla” (Mavi Marmara) and a digital network : “”, both seem so practically eager to reflect the new cosmopolitan identity; that is recently discussed within the political science literature, the paper examines the possibility and feasibility of the concept and its promising capacity of global emancipation by referring to Habermas‟s public sphere and Kant‟s cosmopolitanism through new communication technologies and network societies.


new cosmopolitanism transnational public sphere network societies new media


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp. 150-170

Published Online: 24 Oct 2011

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