Jürgen Habermas' influential historical work, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, describes a moment in the social and political history of Europe in which a rising bourgeoisie was able to gather in salons and cafes to discuss matters of public concern. The public sphere represented a set of sites and conventions in the eighteenth century in which (almost exclusively male) members of the bourgeoisie could forge a third space to mediate between domestic concerns and matters of state. Here, Vaidhyanathan examines one particular Public Sphere experiment--the rise of a global Free Culture Movement that aims to limit the spread of strong intellectual property regimes by considering the complications encountered by the movement when it crosses a very different value set at work in global cultural policy debates--the protection of native or local culture exemplified by the Native Culture Movement.
The Anarchist in the Coffee House: A Brief Consideration of Local Culture, the Free Culture Movement, and Prospects for a Global Public Sphere,
70 Law and Contemporary Problems
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/lcp/vol70/iss2/12