Publics, Politics and Power explores the emergence of new forms, sites, and practices of publicness and the implications for public services. It examines the remaking of the public in the context of new formations of the nation, where issues of migration, diversity, and faith challenge traditional forms of solidarity and citizenship. It traces the emergence of hybrid organizational forms and new strategies for governing publics and public services. It suggests some of the ways in which the public domain is being recast around notions of civil society, community, and populist participatory politics.

Conclusion: A Politics of the Public?

Conclusion: A politics of the public?

We began this book with the paradox of decline and proliferation as a way of addressing the dismantling of previous institutionalised formations of publicness and the remarkable flowering of new sites, policies and practices. We see this paradox as a genuinely important analytic and political puzzle: how can we account for the contemporary enthusiasm for new forms of publicness and what is their political value or significance? By this point, it should be clear that we approach views that can only see decline with considerable scepticism. They are, at least, empirically incorrect and seem wedded to an essentialised view of publicness that can recognize it only in the ‘golden age’ institutional formations of European ...

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