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Editorial partnership

'The Struggle for Common Life' editorial partnership with openDemocracy is the outcome of an AHRC funded project led by the Authority Research Network. The editorial partnership was funded by the University of Warwick and Plymouth University.

For more information about how you can partner with openDemocracy, see our call for editorial partnerships document.


Introducing the theme: The struggle for a common life

Claire Blencowe

Julian Brigstocke

Tehseen Noorani




Related articles

Blencowe, Claire, Brigstocke, Julian & Dawney, Leila (2013) 'Authority and Experience', Journal of Political Power, 6(1), 1-7.

Blencowe, Claire (2013) 'Biopolitical authority, objectivity and the groundwork of modern citizenship', Journal of Political Power, 6(1), 9-28.

Dawney, Leila (2013) 'The figure of authority: the affective biopolitics of the mother and the dying man', Journal of Political Power, 6(1), 29-47.

Noorani, Tehseen (2013), 'Service user involvement, authority and the "expert-by-experience" in mental health', Journal of Political Power, 6(1), 49-68.

Kirwan, Sam (2013), 'On the "inoperative community" and social authority: a Nancean response to the politics of loss', Journal of Political Power, 6(1), 69-86.

Millner, Naomi (2013), 'Routing the camp: experiential authority in a politics of irregular migration', Journal of Political Power, 6(1), 87-105.

Brigstocke, Julian (2013), 'Immanent authority and the performance of community in late nineteenth century Montmartre', Journal of Political Power, 6(1), 107-126.

Osborne, Thomas (2013), 'Authority, convention and political community', Journal of Political Power, 6(1), 127-131.

James, Ian (2013), 'Immanent authority and the making of community: a response', Journal of Political Power, 6(1), 133-137

Dewsbury, J.-D. (2013), 'Engaging an infinity in actuality: exposing political space in the authority of experience itself', Journal of Political Power, 6(1), 139-145

The articles in this guest week for openDemocracy (Monday 2nd September - Friday 6th 2013) are all inspired by the pursuit of participatory democracy – or, as we have come to think about it, ‘the struggle for a common life’. They are the outcome of a collaborative residential workshop held in Teesdale last summer, which brought together scholars and practitioners of applied theatre, participatory governance, community development, social science and political philosophy to reflect on the role of aesthetics, art, drama, trust and education in successful participatory practice. Read on...

Participation and gifts

In the United Kingdom a tendency that reached its nadir with the concept of ‘The Big Society’, can be seen in the extent to which ‘participation’, whether in the affairs of the community, the city or the nation, has come to be considered a responsibility of citizens.

A dialogue on ‘barriers’ to participation and capitalist temporalities

Coming together can make it possible to live more and work less. Doing things collectively is the only way we can be free from the obligation to work so hard as self-exploiting individuals. This is not primarily a question of politics or protest.

Futures of an unlived past: participation, Plymouth architecture and the voices of the dead

Perhaps it is impossible to create a participatory democracy through participatory means. The solution developed here, in any case, was to draw on the external authority of a famous urban planner. 

On visiting forgotten tombs

A good life, in this context, is not immortalised in either great poetry or grand monuments to heroic men, but is defined by how we go about our daily lives, our unremarkable habits and routines of life.

Facilitation as creative bricolage: opening participatory democracy’s black box

With our Indian collaborators we embarked on a creative campaign to defend the integrity of a process that had provided a platform for the informed views of some of the most marginalised rural people in India. It was not a comfortable experience for either of us.

Participating with objects

True names have existed for millennia and can be traced through many cultural histories. What is the relevance of this process of correctly naming to practices of empowerment?

Involving others: from toolkit to ethos for a different kind of democracy

Authority is a capacity to inspire trust. This is what marks a participative inquiry apart from the liberal models which consult others, but never fully recognise, nor invite, their intelligence.

The end of authority

The discussion that follows will highlight the distinction between power and authority, and how power which privileges cooperation rather than domination might generate new forms of authority commensurable to a society that must work together.

How to redistribute authority: participatory knowledge matters for democracy

If collaborative science or participatory budgeting does not incorporate some openness to calamity and creativity, to the world pushing back, then it will not have the effect of generating ‘real life’ experience and redistributing authority. 

Participation in (a time of) crisis

We are the ones we have been waiting for. The importance of openness lies in creating spaces and times outside the dominant architecture and temporality of the past and present in order to create new alliances and subjectivities based on a common dignity. 

Introducing this week's debate: the struggle for a common life

Our three debate editors provide you with a guide to this weeks debate: The struggle for a common life

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