The Transformation of Communicative Power Into Political Power

This article examines Jürgen Habermas’ concept of communicative power and describes how it transforms into political power in actual decision-making. For this purpose, the article develops the use of Habermas’ typology of validity claims in communicative action as a framework for analysis. This means analyzing how public performances invoking these validity claims affect actors’ authority, which is then capitalized in policymaking. The article thus integrates Habermas’ procedural view on deliberative politics with the more culturally oriented view on political performances. It also contributes to the discussion about the “mediatization of politics” by introducing a communicative perspective to complement the more common institutional and systems perspectives. This theoretical and analytical approach is illustrated by examples drawn from the evidence in 16 semi-structured interviews conducted with participants in the policy networks involved in the 2015 Finnish labor market negotiations.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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