Remaking Participation and Democracy: Call for Contributions

04 Dec 2023
Remaking Participation and Democracy: Call for Contributions

We are delighted to invite contributions to our Combined Format Open Panel at the 2024 quadrennial joint meeting of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) and the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), aiming to bring together constructivist STS scholarship on ‘participation’ and ‘democracy’ as objects of study, experimentation and reflexive intervention, ranging from academic paper presentations to practical demonstrations of experiments in participation and democracy.

Moving beyond an emphasis on science and technology as traditionally known, STS scholarship is increasingly turning to consider ‘participation’ and ‘democracy’ as objects of study, experimentation, and intervention in their own right. Rather than being realist pre-given categories, such work sees the objects, actors and formats of participation and democracy as co-produced through the performance of situated socio-material experiments ‘in the making’. Remaking the realities of participation and democracy in this way leads to new ways of studying diverse democratic experiments in situ, as they become technologised and circulate, and how they interrelate in wider systems, ecologies, and constitutions. It is also bringing forward new forms of interventionist-STS that deliberately attempt to experiment and remake participation and democracy in practice in ways imbued with co-productionist sensibilities such as reflexivity, humility, diversity and responsibility.

This Combined Format Open Panel brings together these strands of work. We invite contributions on these themes, including but not limited to:

  • Experiments in participation and democracy: situated studies of through to reflexive interventions in diverse practices that engage publics in collective public issues, articulate representations of the people’s (demos’) collective will, and so on.
  • Technologies of participation and democracy: studies of and reflexive interventions in the sciences, innovations and expertises of participation and democracy, including their representations, circulations and (ir)responsibilities.
  • Ecologies of participation and democracies: studies of the diversities and interrelations between practices of participation and democracy, through to methods for mapping participation, publics, and public issues (whether digital or otherwise).
  • (Re)constituting participation and democracy: theories and studies of systems, infrastructures, and constitutions of participation and democracy and reflexive engagements with their possible remaking.

We welcome proposals for standard academic paper presentations or for contributions to a ‘re-making and doing’ workshop featuring practical demonstrations of experiments in participation and democracy using diverse formats of knowledge expression.