Parliament Rebuilding – don’t let them seal themselves off

I was privileged yesterday to take part in a discussion on CBC radio’s Ottawa Morning show with host Robyn Bresnahan and Jennifer Ditchburn, Editor in Chief of Policy Options. Jennifer had written an excellent piece about a huge, decade-long programme to renovate the Centre Block of the Canadian Parliament, something that is not being discussed but should be, because of its potential to significantly disrupt the … Continue reading Parliament Rebuilding – don’t let them seal themselves off

Appearing in a seminar room near you…

I’ve been remiss in posting news about travel, seminars etc – actually, I’ve been remiss about posting anything at all, and plead the usual feeble excuses. But the northern Spring is the season for conferences and workshops in Europe, and this year I’ll be concentrating on two engagements in the first half of the year, with possibly one other set in the second half. The first is the … Continue reading Appearing in a seminar room near you…

Why I support Public Question Time

The parliamentary Public Question Time idea flagged up by Ed Miliband recently — and blogged about here by Dr Amy Pollard of Involve — is a fascinating one, but I have to declare an interest – I came up with the same idea in my 2012 book, Democracy and Public Space (pp.143-5). In that book I fleshed out the idea a little, and in the … Continue reading Why I support Public Question Time

Public Space book out at last!

At long last, six and a half years after starting, Democracy and Public Space: the physical sites of democratic performance is out with Oxford University Press. When I started this project, it was met with a mix of curious enthusiasm and outright skeptical dismissal. “Democracy depends on physical space? Nonsense. Democracy is moving online.” And then, just as I was about to put the whole … Continue reading Public Space book out at last!

Occupying universities

I’ve just been chatting to a group of student protestors from the Occupy Warwick camp and came away feeling buoyed up by the calm, intelligent commitment of many of our students. We talked about public space, the deligitimisation of public citizenship, activist tactics and much else. While I got to sit in the “status” seat — they were just pallets, but position is everything! — and I … Continue reading Occupying universities