This is the title of a paper that will be given at the ‘1st International Conference on Public Policy‘ by Nick Mahony (Open University) and Jesper Christiansen (MindLab, Copenhagen) on 27 June 2014. We will be part of a panel that’s been organised by Guillaume Gourgues (Université de Franche-Comté, France) and Alice Mazeaud (Université de La Rochelle, France) titled: ‘Naming, identifying, creating the ’public’: the “governmental dimensions” of public policies?‘
Here’s our abstract:
The focus of this paper is a new collaboration between the The Open University’s Creating Publics project, based in the UK and MindLab, a Danish public innovation agency funded by the Danish Government. Conceptually, the drive for this collaboration comes from a shared interest in the creation, innovation and mediation of the publics of contemporary politics and social policy. Our particular interest is in how the proliferation of participative experiments may be viewed as constituting a field of contemporary political contestation, learning and research and how these activities may be changing the ways that government, alongside an increasing array of other groups, engage with populations through new ideas of ‘publicness’. By exploring different ways this field can be animated we are also aiming to test out how it might be possible for publics and others to affect how this field develops in the future. The paper explores some of the challenges of supporting these processes. It concludes by reflecting on some of the possible implications for governance of new and emerging methodologies for engaging and creating reflexive publics.