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Book launch: The Commons. The History of the Norwegian Public Sphere

Which debates have shaped the Norwegian public sphere? What constitutes an open, informed conversation? Who has power in the public sphere in our time? On Tuesday, 5 December at 2 p.m., there will be a launch of the book "The Commons. The History of the Norwegian Public Sphere" in the Fritt Ord's premises.

For a long time, participation in the public sphere was reserved for a few select men who saw themselves as stewards of reason. Today, most Norwegians access the public sphere as part of their morning ritual when they turn on their mobile phones. The History of the Norwegian Public Sphere demonstrates how the conversation in "the Commons" has been formative for the development of democracy. 

The book has been edited by Jostein Gripsrud, professor of Media Studies at the University of Bergen, and it was published by the University Press. Ida Andersen, Knut Dørum, Martin Eide, Eirik Nymark Esperås, Anders Johansen, Leif Ove Larsen, Peter Larsen, Erlend Lavik, Synnøve Lindtner, Hallvard Moe and Terje Rasmussen have contributed to the work.

At the launch, Shabana Rehman Gaarder will talk about "The price of public space", Anine Kierulf will discuss "the verbal battlefield paradise then and now" and Jostein Gripsrud will talk about the work of writing the history of the public space.

There will also be a conversation between Jostein Gripsrud, Knut Dørum and Synnøve Lindtner, moderated by Knut Olav Åmås, executive director of the Fritt Ord Foundation. Read more about the programme on Facebook.

The Fritt Ord Foundation has granted NOK 1 500 000 in support for the project.