‘Mapping Participation’ at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2024

14 Jun 2024
‘Mapping Participation’ at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2024

The UKERC Public Engagement Observatory team will be convening two sessions on the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference taking place in London from Wednesday 28th to Friday 30th August 2024. Both sessions will take place on Thursday 29th August, 9:00-10:40am and 11:10am-12:50pm respectively. Full details on the conference programme and on specific contributions to the session can be found here.

These sessions bring together work on mapping public participation and engagement that is emerging in geography, science and technology studies (STS), and cognate disciplines. While work on participatory geographies has explored participatory mapping – i.e. attempts to make processes of mapping more inclusive through discrete forms of participation – our interest here is in mapping geographies of ‘participation’ itself in all its diversities. Moving beyond a view of participation as discrete pre-given methods or processes, constructivist approaches see participation, publics and public issues as being highly diverse, co-produced through practice, and interrelated across places, spaces and times. This opens up new possibilities for mapping participation to better understand and respond to diverse public voices, actions and engagements, including the following:

  • Mapping diverse forms of public participation and engagement: that occur around particular objects, in particular settings or time-spaces, and across wider controversies, issue spaces, systems, ecologies and landscapes.
  • Tracing how particular forms, formats or technologies of participation become established and circulate across space and time: such as deliberative mini-publics, social movements, digital tools, and so on.
  • Understanding how different collective practices of participation interrelate across places, spaces and times: for example in ecologies of participation, deliberative systems and systems of practice.
  • Mapping how imaginaries of participation, democracy and ‘the public’ become stabilised in particular time-spaces, whether institutions, organisations, regions, constitutions, sociotechnical systems, etc.
  • Methods for mapping participation: including comparative case analysis, case studies, archival research, digital methods, crowdsourcing, citizen social science, participatory methods, interviews and ethnographies.
  • Experiments in mapping participation: to explore its contributions to research, policy and practice, including shaping decision-making, innovations and new forms of participation and democracy.