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Nick Mahony is a researcher at the Open University who explores contemporary publics and emerging forms of democratic culture. He is currently developing a project called Creating Publics that explores the politics of public engagement.
Sue Pell has conducted research on publics, democracy, and knowledge production as a visiting fellow at Goldsmiths College, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada.
Liza Griffin is a lecturer at the Bartlett's Development Planning Unit at UCL. She writes about environmental politics and the governance of 'wicked problems'. Liza is also currently exploring and critiquing the concept of resilient communities.
John Clarke works at the Open University. He is currently involved in research and writing collaborations on governing public services, public making, and citizenship disputes.
Photograph: Andrew Byerley, Toboggan Hill, Tanto park, Stockholm. All rights reserved. See 'Friction zones and emergent publics in Stockholm parklife'The ‘Creating publics, creating democracies’ workshop offered an opportunity to talk more expansively about how we do things together in society to address the issues that affect our collective lives. As will become clear from the contributions that follow, the details matter. While it has long been assumed there is a place and role for publics to contribute to democratic politics, the major lesson from Creating publics, Creating democracies is that this relationship has to be constantly worked at and constructed anew to meet the demands of particular times and places. Both publics and democracies are unstable concepts rather than settled achievements. We need to be attentive to the particular practices that bring publics into being, make democracies possible and keep both these things alive.