Julkisojen keskustelu. Julkisen keskustelun muodostuminen ja dynamiikka Helsingin ja Sipoon rajakiistan alkuvaiheessa
Avainsanat:demokratia, julkinen keskustelu, kansalaistoiminta, kuntajako, sanomalehdet
The article analyses the principle and the interactive aspect of the public debate that occurred in 2006 when the metropolitan municipality of Helsinki appealed to the Finnish government to aid in annexing territory from the adjacent municipality of Sipoo. The study, using situational analysis, examines 244 texts from Finnish and Swedish language newspapers of the region and 7 interviews of concerned citizens.
The article sets out to define public debate as a complex intended to clarify a collectively significant issue through interaction characterised by equality in an environment that guarantees visibility and allows all concerned to participate. Discussing these perspectives in an empirical context, the article reveals, that despite the prejudices of both politicians and citizens and the non-public methods that were used, the principle as well as the interactive aspect of public debate drew unusual visibility. Debaters recognised public debate as an essentially democratic concept and that respectful interaction is the practice through which democracy is realised. The article proceeds to analyse the collective clarification, which develops during a public debate and concludes that the prerequisites of compromise were already available at the onset of this particular dispute.