Mahony, N. & Stephansen, H.C. (2016) ‘The Frontiers of Participatory Public Engagement’ European Journal of Cultural Studies (online only)

Mahony, N. (2015) ‘Designing Public-Centric Forms of Public Engagement with Research’ Open University, Milton Keynes. This short pamphlet, available here as a FREE download, summarises some of the key insights of the Creating Publics research project in an accessible way and is aimed at academics from across different disciplines, practitioners and HEI policy makers.

Mahony, N. & Stephansen H.C. (in press) ‘The public in public engagement with research’

Mahony, N. & Barnett, C. (2015) ‘Marketing technologies and the reconfiguration of public action’ Policy and Politics (version of this article is available for free download here)

Mahony, N. (2013) ‘The work of public engagement’ Comunicazioni Sociali, no.3, pp.349-358  This article explores ‘the public’ in public engagement as a site of negotiation, production and possibility. It introduces a new conceptual framework, which draws on a set of distinctive disciplinary traditions of scholarship, to identify and bring together normative, calculative and emergence-oriented perspectives on the topic of the ‘public’. In contexts where ‘the public’ is increasingly opaque or in flux, this framework has been designed to provide a theoretical compass that enables emergent configurations of the public to be investigated in a pragmatic way. The article reflects on how this framework was used as part of the process of setting up a new participatory public engagement initiative called Participation Now, at The Open University (UK). The article also begins to illuminate how this process led to a particular set of ways of thinking about the social relevance and the responsibilities of contemporary research.

Participation Now: patterns, possibilities, politics. A short piece that reflects on the progress of the Participation Now project and several themes and issues emerging from an initial analysis of the collection of 100 initiatives.

‘A critical social science will help inform and shape the wider debate around public engagement’ short article published on LSE’s Impact of Social Sciences blog by Mark Carrigan and Nick Mahony

Participation Now: a new Open University/Creating Publics/OpenLearn/Catalyst project that aims to support the ongoing development and innovation of participatory public engagement initiatives.

New!  Publics then, now and beyond network website at:

Mahony, N. & Clarke, J. (2013) ‘Public crises, public futures’ Cultural Studies 27 (6) This article begins to map out a novel approach to analysing contexts of public crisis, relationships between them and possibilities that these scenes hold out for politics. The article illustrates and analyses a small selection of examples of these kinds of contemporary scenes and calls for greater public attention to be given to the conditions and consequences of different forms and practices of public and political mediation. In offering a three-fold typology to delineate differences between ‘abject’, ‘audience’ and ‘agentic’ publics the article begins to draw out how political and public futures may be seen as being bound up with how the potentialities, capacities and qualities that publics are imagined to have and resourced to perform. Public action and future publics are therefore analysed here in relation to different versions of contemporary crisis and the political concerns and publics that these crises work to articulate, foreground and imaginatively and practically support.

Mahony, N. (2012) ‘Creating the Publics of Social Science Research’ TOPIA (the Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies) 28 (Special issue on “Out of the ruins, the university to come”)

‘Creating publics, opening democracies’ (2012) editorial and series of short articles (published over the course of w/b 1 October 2012 written by selection of those who presented at Open University/Goldsmiths College/Uni. of Westminster international workshop ‘Creating publics, creating democracies’ which took place 18-19 June 2012 (event programme here).

‘Designing Participation: creating the publics of participatory culture’ presentation given at the Design Group Seminar, The Open University, 22 February 2012.

Barnett, C. & Mahony, N. (2011) ‘Segmenting Publics Report commissioned by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagment and the ESRC.

Mahony, N., Newman, J. & Barnett, C. (eds.) (2010) ‘Rethinking the public: innovations in research, theory and politics Bristol: Policy Press (introduction, conclusion and one other chapter available here).

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