Humour and the public sphere

Giselinde Kuipers*, Dick Zijp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this article, which serves as an introduction to a special issue on humour and the public sphere, we argue that humour has become increasingly central to public discourse in the 21st century, and that this necessitates a rethinking of the relationship between humour and the public sphere in contemporary democracies. In the article, we bring together the dispersed academic literature on humour and the public sphere, and show how humour and comedy scholars have engaged with the long-standing academic debate around this contested concept, which was coined by Jürgen Habermas in 1962. We also introduce the eleven contributions to this special issue and situate them within this ongoing debate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalEuropean Journal of Humour Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2024


  • public sphere
  • politics
  • democracy
  • Jürgen Habermas
  • reason
  • humour


Dive into the research topics of 'Humour and the public sphere'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this