Putting the ‘Political’ into Political Participation

7 March 2019


Wood and Flinders attempt to re-center political participation around the idea of “nexus politics.” In this paper I first argue that they mis-specify new forms of political participation which have emerged by:

(1) failing to take Henrik Bang’s work seriously;

(2) focusing exclusively on motivation/intention, so that an action is “political,” only if the person acting sees it as “political”;

(3) seeing all political participation as necessarily oppositional.


Subsequently, I argue that they fail to understand the important relationship between society, the proto-political sphere and arena politics. In particular, my view is that they ignore the language in which everyday people articulate tensions in society, tensions which are particularly observable online. This is important because this language can constitute the beginning of political action. Such language can be proto-political and should, therefore, be included in any understanding of what counts as political participation.   


About the speaker

Dave Marsh regards himself as a grand old man of Political Science; with the emphasis on old. He is a Professor of Public Policy at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra. He has published many books and articles, but is most proud of successfully supervising more than 50 PhD students. For his sins, he is a Bristol Rovers fan. 


Event details

  • When: 1.00pm - 2.30pm
  • Where: Room 650 Social Sciences Building, Science Road, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact:

    Professor Laura Shepherd


Putting the ‘Political’ into Political Participation

Where Room 650 Social Sciences Building, Science Road, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW When

7 March 2019

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