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About Nick Mahony

Nick Mahony is the Political Education Officer of Chipping Barnet Labour Party, an independent researcher, a Compass Associate and the new Administrator of the Raymond Williams Foundation.

Articles by Nick Mahony

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

No seat is unwinnable: how Labour activists set out to reclaim Tory strongholds and defy predictions

In North London’s Chipping Barnet, pop-up alliances and an emerging ecology of democratic campaigning came together to renew participatory politics. 

Taking responsibility for Friern Barnet Community Library

“Barnet claims to know what people want.  But if you go into some of the libraries in Barnet, I would have to say that they probably don’t know what people want.” Nick Mahony talks to the Chair of Trustees of a library saved by occupation for the community in north London.

Organising today: stewarding and responding to ‘the people’

38 degrees aims to bring people together to take action on the issues that matter to them. As part of our series of interviews with practitioners, Participation Now researcher Nick Mahony talked to Becky Jarvis and Rebecca Falcon at the 38 Degrees office in London about their work.

Introducing ‘Participation Now: meet the practitioners’

Participation Now is a new Open University web platform that hosts an accessible and expanding collection of over 120 of the most creative examples of contemporary public participation and engagement initiatives. Meet 'the Practitioners'.

Participation Now: patterns, possibilities, politics

At one end of this spectrum we have started to place initiatives that offer to rationalise public engagement and make the participatory self-organisation of publics more efficient. At the other end, initiatives seem more focused on enriching processes of engagement and participation.

When is citizen participation transformative?

When is participation empowering and transformative? What is the relationship between ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top-down’ modes of participation? At a conference on the theme of ‘Participatory Cultural Citizenship’ in Aarhus, last November, keynote speaker Leah Lievrouw shared her thoughts on this with Participation Now. Interview.

Volatile, stable and extractive participation

At a conference on the theme of ‘Participatory Cultural Citizenship’ in Aarhus, Denmark last November, Participation Now asked keynote speaker Chris Kelty about questions posed by his current research project: Who gets to decide what participation should be like? Who should be deciding? How might they decide this? Interview.

Participatory public engagement: reshaping what it means to be public?

In exactly what ways can participation and public engagement address the contemporary crises of democracy, expertise and legitimacy? Participation Now will provide a public platform for researchers, practitioners, students and citizens interested in finding out.

Creating publics, opening democracies: introducing the week

Calls for democracy echo around us, but what kind of democracy are people calling for? Some focus on the accountability of government to represent the people, while others are demanding new forms of access to democratic participation. Both of these demands hinge on another idea: publicness - that is, how issues are made visible as questions of collective concern, how resources are shared and how collective decisions are made. 

Public crises, public futures

We need to develop new understandings of public action, public culture, public space and the public sphere and what impact it has on these when people see themselves as in crisis.
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