Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Professor Clive Barnett: Public space and the priority of injustice

Lecture Theatre G12, Clothworkers’ Building North

An emergent tradition of democratic theory displaces an emphasis on egalitarian ideals of justice with a norm of non-domination, and in the process seeks to give conceptual priority to injustice in analysing political life. This intellectual current has implications for established paradigms of critical analysis of public space and the public sphere in two related and sometimes overlapping fields of inquiry: traditions of critical spatial theory from human geography, urban studies and related fields; and theories of citizenship and democracy in media and communications studies.

By focusing on the shared emphasis on the importance of claims-making as the practice through which communities of affected interest are assembled, the implications of giving conceptual priority to injustice for future inquiry into democratic public space will be explicitly articulated.

Biographical Note

Clive Barnett is Professor of Geography and Social Theory at the University of Exeter. His work investigates the intersections between democracy, public life, and urbanization. His current research includes work conceptualising the relationships between democracy and urbanization; work on the contemporary ‘urbanization of responsibility’; and research on the geographies of contentious public action. He is the editor of the Routledge Research in Place, Space and Politics Series, a blogger at Pop theory and co-author of Spaces of Democracy: Geographical Perspectives on Citizenship, Participation and Representation

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