Archive for April 2014

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[ecrea] New Perspectives on the Problem of the Public - Westminster 15-16 May 2014

Sat Apr 05 15:36:15 GMT 2014

New Perspectives on the Problem of the Public

A two day conference hosted by the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster.

Dates: Thursday 15 and Friday 16 May 2014

Venue: Board Room, 309 Regent Street, London

This inter-disciplinary conference brings together researchers from media, technology studies, law, sociology, planning, geography and political theory to discuss the implications of the rise of new strands of pragmatist, complexity and new materialist approaches to democracy and the public sphere. We have five keynote presentations - from Clive Barnett, Andrew Barry, Jon Coaffee, John Law and Sarah Whatmore - and four panels, discussing new perspectives on the conceptualisation of public space, the construction and emergence of publics, and the relevance of post-human, actor-network and new materialist approaches to how we might rethink the spaces and practices of the public today.

Attendance is free and refreshments will be provided. If you wish to attend please register with Eventbrite here:

Provisional Programme:



9.30-10.45 – KEYNOTE

John Law (Professor of Sociology, Open University)
title to be confirmed

10.45-11.00 COFFEE

11.00-12.30 – PANEL 1 - PUBLIC SPACE

Regan Koch (Department of Geography, University College, London)
Justifications of public and private: Notes from the not-quite-public spaces of underground restaurants
Manuela Kölke (independent researcher)
Ontological registers as the medium of convergence between political theory and spatial disciplines
Antonia Layard (University of Bristol Law School)
The Legal Production of Public Space (or not)
Nikolai Roskamm (Institut für Stadt- und Regionalplanung, TU Berlin, Germany)
The in-between of public space: Sitting on the fence with Hannah Arendt

12.30-1.30 – LUNCH

1.30-2.45 – KEYNOTE

Clive Barnett (Professor of Geography and Social Theory, University of Exeter)
Emergent Publics



Nick Mahony and Hilde C. Stephansen (Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance, The Open University) What’s at stake in Participation Now? Exploring emergent configurations of ‘the public’ in contemporary public participation Helen Pallett (Science, Society & Sustainability group, University of East Anglia) Producing the publics of UK science policy: public dialogue as a technology for representing, knowing and constructing publics Yvonne Rydin and Lucy Natarajan (Bartlett School of Planning, University College, London) Materialising public participation: community consultation within spatial planning for North Northamptonshire, England
Peer Schouten (School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
The infrastructural construction of publics: the Janus face of representation by international actors in Congo

4.30-4.45 BREAK

4.45-6.00 – KEYNOTE

Sarah Whatmore (Professor of Environment and Public Policy, University of Oxford)
Experimental Publics: Science, Democracy and the Redistribution of Expertise



10.00-11.15 KEYNOTE

Andrew Barry (Professor of Human Geography, University College, London)
Material Politics and the Reinvention of the Public

11.15-11.30 COFFEE


Andreas Birkbak (Department of Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Denmark)
Facebook pages as ’demo versions’ of issue publics
Gwendolyn Blue (Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Canada)
Animal publics: Political subjectivity after the human subject
Ferenc Hammer (Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary) The Hungarian Roundabout and Further Settings for the Authoritarian Subject: Technologies of Self-Governance in Everyday Practices
Jonathan Metzger (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden)
Moose re:public – traversing the human/non-human divide in the politics of transport infrastructure development

1.00-1.45 LUNCH


Lindsay Bremner (Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster) The Political Life of Rising Acid Mine Water Ana Delgado and Blanca Callén (Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen, Norway) The making of obsolescence: how things become public in the age of precariousness
Michael Guggenheim, Joe Deville, Zuzana Hrdlickova (Department of Sociology
Goldsmiths, University of London)
The Megaphone and the Map: Assembling and Representing the Public in Disaster Exercises
Owain Jones (Environmental Humanities, Bath Spa University)
Is My Flesh Not Public? Thinking of bodies and ‘the public’ through water

3.15-3.30 COFFEE

3.30-4.45 KEYNOTE

Jon Coaffee (Professor in Urban Geography, University of Warwick)
Citizenship and Democracy in the City 2.0: Balancing the Quest for Resilience and the Public Interest in Urban Development

4.45-5.00 BREAK


David Chandler, Professor of International Relations, Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW. Tel: ++44 (0)776 525 3073. Journal Editor, Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses: Book series Editor, Routledge Studies in Intervention and Statebuilding: Book series Editor, Routledge Advances in Democratic Theory: Amazon books page:
Personal website:

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