Faculty of Social Sciences
Nick's research investigates the formation and mediation of contemporary publics, the politics of participation and experimental practices of popular democratic culture.
His main focus is on the 'Creating Publics' project. This is a three-year a research and development project, supported by the Open University, which aims to innovate new ways of conceptualising and enacting public engagement with social science research.
Nick is also a Co-investigator on the (2012-2015) RCUK funded 'Catalyst' project, which sets out to research but also embed practices of public engagement with research across the Open University; and a Co-investigator (Principal Investigator, Prof John Clarke) on the ESRC funded International Partnership and Networking Grant 'Making publics across time and space'. For this, he is helping to set up a new collaborative network between the North American 'Making Publics' research team and CCIG's Publics Research Programme. The idea being to foster new inter-disciplinary and international connections between researchers analysing historical and contemporary publics.
With Clive Barnett and Janet Newman, Nick was a co-investigator and co-organiser of the 2008-2010 ESRC Seminar Series 'Emergent Publics'. One outputs of this was the volume Rethinking the Public: innovations in research, theory and politics (edited by Mahony, N. Newman, J. & Barnett, C.). Nick also then co-authored (with Clive Barnett) 'Segmenting Publics' (2011), a report commissioned by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement and the ESRC to analyse the benefits and difficulties of using public segmentation techniques for public engagement in the HE sector.
Between 2009-2010 Nick was an ESRC funded Post Doctoral Research Fellow and designed and prototyped The Experimental Democracy Console - a web archive that begins to allow users to sort and relate the growing range of contemporary public participation experiments taking place across the domains of formal politics, media, commerce, social movement activism, media and arts. A more elaborate version of this web resource is currently in development, in collaboration with the department of Politics and International Studies and OpenLearn.
Working under the auspices of CCIG's Publics Research Programme, Nick has organised a range of research and more public events. These include: the June 2012 international workshop 'Creating publics, creating democracies' (in collaboration with Goldsmiths College and University of Westminster); the 2012-14 Creating Publics keynote lecture series; the April 2011 workshop 'Crisis of Participation; Participating in Crisis' (in collaboration with the International Centre for Participation Studies, University of Bradford); and the 2010-2011 CCIG event series that addressed the theme 'Big Cuts, Big Society', involving a range of Third Sector participants.
PhD, The Open University; MA (distinction) Social Research, Sociology Department, Goldsmiths College; and BA (hons) Design Studies, Department of Design, Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Member of ESRC's Peer Review College; Member of the Expert Advisory Group of the Leverhulme Trust funded Making Science Public project.
Member of the Centre for Citizenship, Identity and Governance (CCIG), The Open University.
A selection of my research publications can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.
(2013) with John Clarke, Public crises, public futures, Cultural Studies 27 (4)
(2012) Social Science Research and the Creation of Publics, TOPIA 28.
(2012) Online article for OpenDemocracy: Mahony, N. & Clarke, J. 'Public Crises, Public Futures', OpenDemocracy, 23 February 2012
(2011) Book review of 'Authoritative Governance: Policy Making in an Age of Mediatization' (Maarten. A. Hajer) 2009 in Public Administration, Volume 89, Number 4 pp.1683-1685.
(2011) with Clive Barnett 'Segmenting Publics' ESRC/NCCPE Research Synthesis Report.
(2010) Making Democracy Spectacular. Representation Volume 46, Issue 3, 39-352
(2010) Rethinking the Public: innovations in research, theory and politics Mahony, N., Newman, J. & Barnett, C. (eds.) Policy Press, Bristol.
(2010) Mediating the Publics of Public Participation Experiments in Rethinking the Public: innovations in research, theory and politics Mahony, N., Newman, J. & Barnett, C. (eds.) Policy Press, Bristol.
A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.
Last updated: 14 January 2013