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Habermas and Elias

Posted on by Robert van Krieken

I’m in the middle of looking at what Habermas means by ‘refeudalization’ (in The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere), and it turns on his conception of ‘representative publicity’, one of his even more inelegant terms – the thing is that where he does talk about ‘representative publicity’, or the structuring of society and politics that constitutes it, it sounds a lot like an account of court society, with Habermas making very similar observations to Elias, citing Huizinga, etc. So, if anyone’s already looked at the Habermas – Elias connection in this respect, it’d be nice to hear from you… because, he seems to be arguing with the concept of refeudalization that the ‘structural transformation of the bourgeois public sphere’ constitutes a kind of ‘return’ to court society (representative publicity). Which strikes me as interesting.

Robert van Krieken

NOTE: Robert van Krieken will be giving a lecture on “The Refeudalization of Society? – On the new aristocracy and celebrity society – from Habermas to Elias” at UCD, Dublin, on 26 January 2012, at 15:00 in Room F102 in the Newman Building on the Belfield campus. All welcome.