Recall of Politicians. Restoration of the Public?

No.1(2007)

Abstract
This article presents a possible solution to the problem of the fall of the public in the political thought of Hannah Arendt and Jürgen Habermas. Arendt presents the public as the action of equal people discussing among themselves. Habermas sees it as the discussion of equal people too, but on the pages of newspapers or on radio waves. Both thinkers warn against the fall of the public and propose how to restore it. Arendt considers a system of councils to be a solution, whereas Habermas talks about the institutionalization of corresponding procedures of communication as a new form of the public. This article tries to put these solutions together. It applies Arendt’s ideas to the communal or municipal level and those of Habermas to the national level, both in the context of the Czech Republic. One significant difference between a council system and the Czech political communal system is the recall of representatives. Recall can make representatives more responsible to citizens and citizens more engaged in politics so that they become the public, both at the communal and national level.

Keywords:
recall; public; Arendt; Habermas
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