Counterpublics and the State

Edited by Robert Asen & Daniel C. Brouwer

Subjects: Communication
Series: SUNY series in Communication Studies
Paperback : 9780791451625, 288 pages, September 2001
Hardcover : 9780791451618, 288 pages, September 2001

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Table of contents


Introduction: Reconfigurations in the Public Sphere
Robert Asen and Daniel C. Brouwer

I. Conflicted Encounters

Chapter 1. Prisoners of Conscience and the Counterpublic Sphere of Prison Writing: The Stones that Start the Avalanche
Gerard A. Hauser

Chapter 2. ACT-ing UP in Congressional Hearings
Daniel C. Brouwer

Chapter 3. The Black Press and the State: Attracting Unwanted (?) Attention
Catherine Squires

Chapter 4. Representing the State in South Central Los Angeles
Robert Asen

II. New Communication Technologies and Globalization

Chapter 5. Cyber-movements, New Social Movements, and Counterpublics
Catherine Helen Palczewski

Chapter 6. Crafting a Virtual Counterpublic: Right-to-Die Advocates on the Internet
Todd. F. McDorman

Chapter 7. A Structural Transformation for a Global Public Sphere? The Use of New Communication Technologies by Non-Governmental Organizations and the United Nations
Marie A. Mater

Chapter 8. Doing Away with Suharto – And the Twins Myths of Globalization and the New Social Movements
Dana L. Cloud

Chapter 9. In the Name of Reconciliation: The Faith and Works of Counterpublicity
Erik Doxtader



Explores antagonistic encounters between people, both individuals and groups, and governments.


In the form of demonstrations, social movements, guerrilla warfare, and internet "hacktivism," political dissidents or "counterpublics" challenge the state and assert themselves upon the public stage. At stake in such engagements are profound issues of political and economic redistribution, individual and collective rights, political legitimacy, social stability, and identity. This book explores encounters between marginalized people and states to better understand the contours of social controversy and social transformation borne from conflict.

Robert Asen is Assistant Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Daniel C. Brouwer is Assistant Professor of Human Communication at Arizona State University.


"At the beginning of the previous century, John Dewey was concerned about the public and its problems. Dewey's concerns, it turns out, are more relevant now than ever. One of the great strengths of Counterpublics and the State is that its contributors update the entire discussion in light of new issues and, especially, new communication technologies. I suspect this is a book Dewey would have hoped that every citizen would read. " — Eric Gander, Baruch College