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La 4e de couverture indique : "What is the role of things in political participation ? This inventive book offers a fresh perspective on everyday forms of engagement, one that foregrounds the role of objects, technology and settings in relation to public involvement. It makes a distinctive contribution to debates about the material dimension of democracy, proposing that we must attend more closery to the settings in which things acquire the power to engage. It develops this argument through a series of case studies of contemporary devices of participation, such as smart electricity meters, demonstrational eco-homes and sustainable living gadgets. This book then offers a novel approach to the analysis of specifically material forms of paticipation. "Material participation" explores the next steps that might be taken in social studies of engagement, technology and the environment, focusing our critical and creative attention squarely on the materials and devices of the public."
This book develops a fresh perspective on everyday forms of engagement, one that foregrounds the role of objects, technologies and settings in democracy. Examining a range of devices, from smart meters to eco-homes, the book sets out new concepts and methods for analyzing the relations between participation, innovation and the environment.
The Professionalization of Public Participation is an edited collection of essays by leading and emerging scholars examining the emerging profession of public participation professionals. Public participation professionals are persons working in the public, private, or third sectors that are paid to design, implement, and/or facilitate participatory forums. The rapid growth and proliferation of participatory arrangements call for expertise in the organizing of public participation. The contributors analyze the professionalization of this practice in different countries (United States, France, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom) to see how their actions challenge the development of participatory arrangements. Designing such processes is a delicate activity, since it may affect not only the quality of the processes and their legitimacy, but also their capacity to influence decision-making.
Over the past few decades, we have witnessed the growth of movements using digital means to connect with broader interest groups and express their points of view. These movements emerge out of distinct contexts and yield different outcomes, but tend to share one thing in common: online and offline solidarity shaped around the public display of emotion. Social media facilitate feelings of engagement, in ways that frequently make people feel re-energized about politics. In doing so, media do not make or break revolutions but they do lend emerging, storytelling publics their own means for feeling their way into events, frequently by making those involved a part of the developing story. Technologies network us but it is our stories that connect us to each other, making us feel close to some and distancing us from others. Affective Publics explores how storytelling practices facilitate engagement among movements tuning into a current issue or event by employing three case studies: Arab Spring movements, various iterations of Occupy, and everyday casual political expressions as traced through the archives of trending topics on Twitter. It traces how affective publics materialize and disband around connective conduits of sentiment every day and find their voice through the soft structures of feeling sustained by societies. Using original quantitative and qualitative data, Affective Publics demonstrates, in this groundbreaking analysis, that it is through these soft structures that affective publics connect, disrupt, and feel their way into everyday politics.
This volume introduces the notion of ‘relational planning’ through a collection of theoretical and empirical contributions that explore the making of heterogeneous associations in the planning practice. The analytical concept builds on recent approaches to complexity and materiality in planning theory by drawing on Science and Technology Studies (STS) of urban issues. It frames planning as a socio-material practice taking place within the multifaceted relations between artefacts, agency and practices. By way of this triad, spatial planning is not studied as a given, linear or technical process but rather problematized as a hybrid, distributed and situational practice. The inquiries in this collection thus describe how planning practices are negotiated and enacted in and beyond formal arenas and procedures of planning, and so make visible the many sites, actors and means of spatial planning. Addressing planning topics such as ecology, preservation, participation, rebuilding and zoning, this volume takes into account the uncertain world planning is embedded in. The implications of such a perspective are considered in light of how planning is performed and how it contributes to the emergence of specific socio-material forms and interactions. This is an invaluable read for all scholars of STS, Ecology, Architecture and Urban Planning.

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