Libraries and the Right to the City: Insights from Democratic Theory Prepared for the 2013 LACUNY Institute: Libraries, Information, and the Right to the City

John Buschman


David Harvey's right to the city is a productive point to discuss the role of urban libraries and democracy.  Harvey's ideas, however, can be further deepened by engaging them with democratic theory.  Within Harvey's broader challenge to neoliberalism, democratic theory helps to tie the work of librarianship to a meaningful instantiation of a right to the city through a review of:  the concepts (and brief history) of rights the founding theories of rights themselves, the public sphere (a LACUNY Institute framing concept), community, and democratic voice.


Neoliberalism; Public Sphere; Democracy

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