Lisa Ashmore, Lancaster University, UK; Liz Brewster, Lancaster University; Hilary Stewart, Lancaster University; Laura Wareing, Lancaster University;
Public involvement in science, healthcare, environmental justice and politics is central within an epistemic landscape, i.e. within structures of decision making, knowledge production and public engagement. Current models are founded on values of partnership, democracy and authenticity. However, taking inspiration from Michelle Murphy, Michel Callon and others, a critical approach to participation would acknowledge the damaged worlds in which we attempt to address these utopian goals and recognise that the value assigned to participation (moral, economic, and otherwise) is conjured, assigned, and circulated in affective economies. Self-determination, the construction of groups and collectives, and the capacity for involvement are organised through dominant cultures of racial privilege, colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, and so on. This 'disconnects acts that feel good from their geopolitical implications' (Murphy, 2015). Thus the commodity fetishism of public involvement is extracted from and exploitative of the human affective relations that sustain it and make it meaningful. Examples may include: participation in a global refugee crisis; climate justice; land reparations; advocacy and patient rights in healthcare systems imbrued with inequalities.
In this panel we invite contributors to consider:
- How do infrastructures for participation construct viable and nonviable futures, worlds, kinships and power?
- What is celebrated or erased through the modes of involvement we construct?
- What other ways might be created to make a true politics of involvement?
- How do non-innocent histories shape the landscape in which the politics of involvement circulate?