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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 21 - 2014, No. 2

Mediatisation of Politics: Reflections on the State of the Concept

, pages: 5 - 22

This paper reviews the current state of the literature on the mediatisation of politics. Five common assumptions are being identified, which in my view form the core of a basic understanding of the concept. I discuss for each of these assumptions a number of further deliberations. My analysis is based on a theory of functionally differentiated societies. More precisely, I draw on the vision of modern societies that German sociologist Niklas Luhmann has introduced. According to his view the functional specialisation of social sub-systems is accompanied by an increased consolidation of performance relations between them, because self-referential fixation on the own function inevitably causes deficits in most other capacities. Against this background mediatisation is reconstructed as a response to a serious deficit of political systems: the notorious lack of public attention given to democratic politics within modern societies. This framework has several implications for the reasoning on mediatisation, which are outlined in the article.

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