Beyond the post-political: is public participation in Australian cities at a turning point?



Publication Details

Legacy, C., Rogers, D., Cook, N. & Ruming, K. (2018). Beyond the post-political: is public participation inAustralian cities at a turning point?. Geographical Research, 56 (4), 1-5.


This special section builds on Planning the Post-Political City-Part 1 to examine if and how planning is showing signs of a post-democratic turn taking place in Australian cities. In Part 1, we presented a collection of papers examining Australia as a post-political landscape, exploring the new ways in which Australian publics are resisting dominant neoliberal practices and logics of growth and, in doing so, are intervening in decision-making practices to assert new forms of power and participation. In Part 2, we show how participatory practices continue to evolve.We use this brief editorial to ask a foundational question: have those implicated in the governance and management of Australian cities embarked on a post-democratic path? As they are presented with new exclusionary and managerial governance systems, the public's participation suggests at the very least that post-political and post-democratic conditions are neither immutable nor inevitable. However, more democratic forms of governance rely on a rich array of activist types and approaches requiring greater institutional support in order to challenge Australia's post-political condition.

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