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.

Contesting Publicness: Decline and Proliferation

Contesting publicness: Decline and proliferation

In the Introduction we identified three keywords – ambiguity, articulation and assemblage – as resources for helping us to think about the paradox of decline and proliferation. In this chapter we begin to put these concepts to work in exploring the complexity of both ideas and institutionalizations of the public, and in teasing out different ways of trying to make sense of its transitions. We begin by outlining our approach to defining what we mean by publics and publicness, examining how this meaning was ‘fixed’ – albeit conditionally and temporarily – in specific discursive chains. Much of the work of this book focuses on how these chains have been disrupted, heralding the decline of these historically ...

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