Public sphere theory encourages us, rightly, to focus on the tension-ridden space where discursive practices and normative requirements meet. How we think of that space has been transformed since Habermas’s early formulations: no longer face-to-face but inherently mediated, 1 no longer singular but inevitably plural, 2 no longer single-level but multi-level and networked. 3 It is too easy, however, to assume that, merely by becoming more complex, public sphere theory has become more adequate to the actual space of mediated politics (Curran, 2000). For, whatever the complexity required, the point of public sphere theory is to generate principles whereby the adequacy of current forms of public consultation and deliberation can be judged in relation to the decision-making processes that concern them. Nancy Fraser’s article on Transnationalizing the Public Sphere asks, afresh, whether any version of public sphere theory (Habermas’ original model, Habermas’s recent networked model, or accounts generated from critiques of Habermas’s models) performs the critical job we expect of it. Fraser thus takes the normative/concrete tension inherent in public sphere debate to a new level. But do Fraser’s particular formulations of that tension offer the most productive way of addressing the deep problems to which she has helpfully drawn attention?