Apologies for any cross-posting
"The Space of Democracy and the Democracy of Space"
"The Space of Democracy and the Democracy of Space" is a series of
conversations being developed by Jonathan Pugh, Chantal Mouffe, Francoise
Verges, Doreen Massey and Noortje Marres, and an increasing number of
academics from various disciplines, in many countries. It is being
directed by Jonathan Pugh, with assistance from Oliver Moss, who is
the "Space of Democracy and Democracy of Space" co-ordinator.
The re-organisation of spaces of politics is re-shaping our understanding
of the concepts of space, democracy and the political themselves. The very
meaning of space, democracy and the political is often different,
contextual; specific to different locations. This pluralisation in how we
think about such basic concepts, so central to our underlying, human forms
of life, has massive implications for how we think about the territorial
institutions of governance which we engage with on a daily basis, as well
for how we understand distributions of opportunity, responsibility and the
emergence of new technologies, identities or social movements, as just some
examples. And so, we are concerned with what "work" different concepts of
space, democracy and the political do, as we encounter with, engage and
transform them through practices. Do they demand that we reject, or
celebrate, territorial spaces of democracy, for example? What
conceptualisations of spatial practices, politics and the political are
strong enough to address the challenges of inequality and inertia? That
is, how does critique of, and public engagement through, different geo-
political concepts and practices, become transformative, into something
positive and progressive?
In order to explore these questions, the interdisciplinary network is
presently concentrating upon establishing "nodes" from a core group of
around 30 people, working across each of the following disciplines:
political philosophy, politics, planning, geography, anthropology,
technology, sociology, international relations and development studies.
This core group will eventually take the conversations through the
different disciplines via academic workshops, academic journals, public
debates, the general media and website interfaces, for examples.
Academics that are so far involved include Frank Furedi, Tim Ingold, David
Howarth, Uma Kothari, Nina Laurie, Scott Lash, John Forester, Patsy Healey,
Susan Owens, Susan Fainstein, Susan Christopherson, Deborah Thien, David
Featherstone, Nigel Thrift, Maarten Hajer, Jean Hillier. We are also in
discussions with Eleonore Kofman, AbdouMaliq Simone, Yannis Stavrakakis and
David Wood, who have also expressed an interest in participating in this
So far conversations are being organised for Harvard, Cornell, California,
Newcastle, The Centre for the Study of Democracy, Goldsmiths, the Institute
of British Geographers/ Royal Geographical Society and the Shanghai Academy
of Social Sciences. Support is coming from these institutions, as well as
the Economic and Social Research Council and through the public debating
forum, the Great Debate.
If you are interested in this project, please contact us via
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