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.

Displacing the Public: Recruiting ‘Ordinary People’

Displacing the public: Recruiting ‘ordinary people’

As we indicated in Chapter 2, the public, nation and state have been closely articulated: publics were constructed as national entities, and were interwoven with the nation-building processes of states. In the development of new forms of governing, however, these connections have been disrupted. In this chapter we focus on three formations that populate new assemblages of the public: community, civil society and the ‘third sector’ of voluntary, not-for-profit and nongovernmental organisations. We stress ‘populate’ because each of them involves the recruitment of ‘ordinary people’ to processes, relationships and practices of governing. The three sites overlap in important ways, not least because they are all, in part, defined by their non-stateness. Indeed, we argue ...

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