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Åmås forgets the framework around the debates he directs.


[Expression boundaries] Through his work in Samtiden and Aftenposten, Knut Olav Åmås has done a fabulous job of showing "the value of disagreement" in practice. When he now publishes a book with this title, it is disappointing that he does not use the 228 pages to a greater extent to problematize the boundaries around "debate and dissent in Norway".

Culture has always been limitless, and in recent decades the economy has been globalizing at a furious pace. Decisions made by Norwegian politicians, business leaders and consumers are increasingly impacting people far beyond Norway's borders. What freedom of speech or opportunity do Asian textile workers have vis-à-vis Norwegian makers?

The shift in power from the political to the economic field should result in a heated debate about the consequences that development can and should have for politics and for the public. But the big media hangs in an old-fashioned, national worldview. This road is unfortunately also a long way off.

Åmå's main point is that the Norwegian self-image of a unique and rabidly different country is wrong, Norway is a country characterized by conformity and jantelov. This is a legitimate criticism, and as a debate editor, I agree with the embrace of constructive arguing. Åmås has some examples of a beginning problematic of the national framework, such as the sections on Norway as a multicultural society. But Åmås should continue to take a step further and drive the basic debate about a national public and a global reality.

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