Is there a blueprint to follow that can help embed participation in the body politic? The many contributors separately make the case. Fuller details available here but the book can be downloaded or viewed online or purchased in print.
We live in times of climate crisis, with illegal levels of air pollution in many cities worldwide, and what has been called an epidemic of physical inactivity. Technological change alone will not solve such problems: we also need major growth in active travel (primarily walking and cycling, but also other active and semi-active types of travel, such as scooters) to replace many shorter car trips. Active modes could even (e.g. through electric assist trikes) help make urban freight much more sustainable.
Journals within many fields cover active travel, but literature remains highly segmented and (despite high levels of policy interest) difficult for practitioners to find. Established, mainstream journals are not open access, another barrier to policy transfer and knowledge exchange. Thus, while many towns, cities, and countries seek to increase active travel, the knowledge base suffers from a lack of high-quality academic evidence that is easy to find and obtain. This reinforces practitioner reliance on often lower-quality grey literature, and a culture of relying on ad hoc case studies in policy and practice.
This journal provides a bridge between academia and practice, based on high academic standards and accessibility to practitioners. Its remit is to share knowledge from any academic discipline/s (from bioscience to anthropology) that can help build knowledge to support active travel and help remove barriers to it, such as car dependency. Within this normative orientation, it is rigorously academic and critical, for instance not shying away from analysing examples where interventions do not lead to more active travel. It goes beyond immediate policy imperatives to share knowledge that while not immediately change-oriented can contribute to a deeper understanding of, for instance, why people drive rather than walk.
As well as publishing relevant new research, the journal commissions both commentary pieces on such research, and critical reviews of the existing literature. Reflecting the diversity of its audience, its content is varied, including written work of different lengths as well as audio-visual material
Now published 12 July 2021 a new open access title DEMOCRACY IN A PANDEMIC: Participation in Response to Crisis that makes the case for enhanced engagement during and beyond emergency contexts.
Covid-19 has highlighted limitations in our democratic politics – but also lessons for how to deepen our democracy and more effectively respond to future crises. In the face of an emergency, the working assumption all too often is that only a centralised, top-down response is possible. This book exposes the weakness of this assumption, making the case for deeper participation and deliberation in times of crises. During the pandemic, mutual aid and self-help groups have realised unmet needs. And forward-thinking organisations have shown that listening to and working with diverse social groups leads to more inclusive outcomes.
Participation and deliberation are not just possible in an emergency. They are valuable, perhaps even indispensable.
This book draws together a diverse range of voices of activists, practitioners, policy makers, researchers and writers. Together they make visible the critical role played by participation and deliberation during the pandemic and make the case for enhanced engagement during and beyond emergency contexts.
Another, more democratic world can be realised in the face of a crisis. The contributors to this book offer us meaningful insights into what this could look like.
GRAHAM SMITH is Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster and Chair of the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development.
TIM HUGHES is the outgoing Director of Involve and a leading specialist in the field of participatory and deliberative democracy.
LIZZIE ADAMS is Project and Governance Lead at Involve, the UK’s leading public participation charity.
CHARLOTTE OBIJIAKU is Project Administrator at Involve and a member of the 2020/21 Charityworks graduate scheme.
CONTENTS: Short listing
Introduction Part One: VOICES FROM THE PANDEMIC Part Two: LESSONS FOR DEMOCRACY Conclusion: A Manifesto for Democracy in a Crisis
Paperback 978-1-914386-17-6 203 x 103mm 160 pages UK £14.99 US $20 EUR €18 CAN $25 AUS $28
Democracy Studies|Policy Studies| Social Affairs
Acknowledgements Introduction, Graham Smith, Tim Hughes, Lizzie Adams and Charlotte Obijiaku PART ONE: VOICES FROM THE PANDEMIC Some Things Are So Urgent That We Can’t Afford to Do Them Quickly Martin Johnstone The Perfect Storm? Emerging from the Crisis Stronger, Through Sharing What We Have Jez Hall Building More Vibrant and Inclusive Democracies: How to Meet the challenges of Covid-19 Sanjay PradhanDoes Democracy Need a Time Rebellion? Roman Krznaric Building Back Inclusively Dayo Eseonu Ordinary and Extraordinary Stories: Including People with Learning Disabilities in Policy Development and Research Rhiann McLean and Angela Henderson Organising to Humanise the Gig Economy Alex Marshall Let’s Talk About Covid-19 Ethics Dave Archard Democracy – A Dish Well Done Frances Foley Learning How to Listen in a Pandemic Laura Seebohm No Justice Without Us: Respecting Lived Experience of the Criminal Justice System Paula Harriott Participation on Whose Terms? Javier Sanchez-Rogriguez The Queer House Party: Solidarity and LGBTQI+ Community-Making in Pandemic Times Francesca Romana Ammaturo and Olimpia Burchiellaro Student Democracy in the Face of Covid-19 Isobel Walter Experts by Experience: Enabling the Voice of Survivors to Transform the Response to Domestic Abuse in the UK Martha Tomlinson The Best Time to Start Involving the Public in Covid Decision-Making was a Year Ago The Next Best Time Is Now Jon Alexander PART TWO: LESSONS FOR DEMOCRACY Hearing Diverse Voices in a Pandemic: Towards Authentic Inclusion Ruth Ibegbuna Mutual Aid and Self-Organisation: What We Can Learn from the Rise of DIY Responses to the Pandemic Matt Leach How the Pandemic Has Accelerated the Shift Towards Participatory Public Authorities Donna Hall, Simon Kaye and Charlotte Morgan Citizen Voice in the Pandemic Response: Democratic Innovations from Around the World Antonin Lacelle-Webster, Julien Landry and Ann Marie D. Smith Is Democracy Too Much Trouble in a Pandemic? Archon Fung Conclusion: A Manifesto for Democracy in a Crisis Tim Hughes and Graham Smith
A new book exploring the significance of Island Studies for the Anthropocene was published yesterday to advance acclaim, as described in a recent blog posting. As with all University of Westminster Press titles it is available open access.
‘A must read … In this long-awaited book, [Pugh and Chandler] open up a new analytical agenda for the Anthropocene, coherently drawing out the power of thinking with islands.’ – Elena Burgos Martinez, Leiden University
‘This is an essential book. By thinking with islands, Pugh and Chandler articulate new ontologies and epistemologies to help us understand the relational entanglements of the Anthropocene. The four analytics they propose—Resilience, Patchworks, Correlation, and Storiation—offer both a critical agenda for island studies and compass points through which to navigate the haunting past, troubling present, and precarious future.’ – Craig Santos Perez, University of Hawai’i, Manoa
‘All academic books should be like this: hard to put down. Informative, careful, sometimes devasting, yet absolutely necessary – if you read one book about the Anthropocene let it be this. You will never think of islands in the same way again.’ – Kimberley Peters, University of Oldenburg
‘Makes the compelling case that islands have never been merely geocultural objects of study, but rather, generative conceptual “objects” [for understanding and engaging] the wider, planetary, relational matrix within which the conditions of the Anthropocene era were created.’ – Michelle Stephens, Rutgers University
‘What if we were to start not with the great drama of the world’s falling apart, but with a myriad of smaller stories of its coming together? … a unique journey into the Anthropocene. Critical, generous and compelling’. – Nigel Clark, Lancaster University
‘Replete with “aha!” and “huh!” moments, this book offers insights for all of us … who may not have recognised … the value of “thinking with” islands more purposively.’ – Lauren Rickards, RMIT University
‘ … a must-read … elucidates novel understandings of islands not only as patches of intensified Anthropocene proliferation, but as sites to examine the intricate relationships between life, matter, and meaning in a changing world.’ – Adam Searle, University of Cambridge
‘Anthropocene Islands establishes Pugh and Chandler as two critical and agenda-setting thinkers within island scholarship … [It] cogently argues that islands have become emblematic figures of the Anthropocene and are moreover influencing the manner in which Anthropocene thinking is developing. … a timely and essential contribution …’ – Adam Grydehøj, Editor-in-Chief, Island Studies Journal
The volume first examines the teaching of ‘media literacy’ in state-run schools in seven Sub-Saharan African countries as of mid-2020, as relates to misinformation. It explains the limited elements of media and information literacy (MIL) that are included in the curricula in the seven countries studied and the elements of media literacy related to misinformation taught in schools in one province of South Africa since January 2020. The authors propose six fields of knowledge and skills specific to misinformation that are required in order to reduce students’ susceptibility to false and misleading claims. Identifying obstacles to the introduction and effective teaching of misinformation literacy, the authors make five recommendations for the promotion of misinformation literacy in schools, to reduce the harm misinformation causes.
The second report in the volume examines changes made to laws and regulations related to ‘false information’ in eleven countries across Sub-Saharan Africa 2016-2020 from Ethiopia to South Africa. By examining the terms of such laws against what is known of misinformation types, drivers and effects, it assesses the likely effects of punitive policies and those of more positive approaches that provide accountability in political debate by promoting access to accurate information and corrective speech. In contrast to the effects described for most recent regulations relating to misinformation, the report identifies ways in which legal and regulatory frameworks can be used to promote a healthier information environment.