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Abstract

Recent debates on the role of computer-mediated communication (CMC) in facilitating a democratisation of the public sphere are criticized for presenting inadequate accounts of the public sphere that is being transformed. Like broadcast communication, computer-mediated communication does not obey national borders. Because of this a number of questions are raised insofar as the traditional conception of the public sphere has invariably corresponded to the nation-state. The difference between embodied and electronic assemblies, between an homogenous public sphere and public ‘sphericules’ is introduced in order to clarify the political and communicative significance of contemporary CMC.