The discourse of participation in and about Brazil has contributed to the wider discourse of the public sphere. As an occasion to revise the general concept of the public sphere, it carries its own limitations as well. The public sphere is an arena where citizens come together to discuss matters of general interest and through this discussion are then able to influence the state. The concept public sphere is a challenged concept and is often called exclusive and “unrealistic.” One scholar revises this challenged concept, Leonardo Avritzer, author of Democracy and the Public Space in Latin America. Avritzer’s revision claims to take the revision further in the direction of participatory, democratic publics. Yet it adds an administrative dimension to the public sphere that is problematic both conceptually and practically. It allows for state control of the public sphere in the name of “accountability” and “democratic elitism.” The paper offers a critique of such a revision by showing that accountability means elite governance through a reduction of participation to administered publics as a false “necessity.”

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Dr. Ed McLuskie