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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Javnost - The Public

For a Special Issue on
Critical Research on the Management of Public Engagement

Abstract deadline
01 August 2022

Manuscript deadline
15 November 2022

Cover image - Javnost - The Public

Special Issue Editor(s)

Ed McLuskie, Boise State University
[email protected]

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Critical Research on the Management of Public Engagement

“Public Engagement” is a salient term deployed by businesses and governments to claim responsiveness to public demands for recognition and incorporation into public policy. This special issue offers critical perspectives and research on efforts born in the corporate world to manage “public engagement” to legitimise actions and policies in the name of democratic governance. As the idea of citizen engagement with governments and their emerging policies is ambiguous, this ambiguity lives in weakened public spheres. Public avenues for information and participation are reshaped and redefined as governments and businesses management strategies and tactics take advantage of weakening democracies by folding public concerns into engagement practices to fashion officially planned outcomes. By managing public orientations through controlled narratives, surveys, public meetings, and data gathering, descriptions of “public engagement” pose as public stamps of approval that deserve critical analysis. As a US Chamber of Commerce pamphlet titled “The Future of Public Engagement” (L. Bradshaw 2014) illustrates, “public engagement” is a management plan to “have the public do the work for you by spreading your [organisation’s] message” in communities. Critical papers are invited to unpack persistent efforts to restrict public discourse to only those interests that overlap with corporate and governmental interests. The theme of this issue, “Critical Research on The Management of Public Engagement,” is open to authors interested in the corporatization of public discourse or, more generally, the decline of democratic discourse through management practices.

Manuscripts are welcome that critically summarise and offer critical research on the nature, implications, and consequences of treating public participation in the life of communities as management arenas. Essays covering a variety of locales and research traditions may include, but are not limited to: (1) actual public management strategies or tactics from case studies demonstrating exclusionary approaches to the public; (2) methodological tendencies designed to redirect public voice to management purposes; (3) definitions and uses of media for their dispersal of management interests; (4) directing communication concepts to fit management practices, using “strategic communication” and “public relations” literature; and (5) narratives from civil society eclipsed by managed summations of public sentiments and opinions.

Submission Instructions

To ensure consideration for the special issue, 300-word abstracts of proposed papers should be submitted by August 1, 2022, to Ed McLuskie at [email protected] with cc to [email protected]. The decision on invitation to submit full papers will be taken by August 15, 2022. Full papers will be due by November 15, 2022.

Papers should be written in Word format, totalling between 6,000 and 8,000 words (including text, tables, endnotes, references, etc.), using British spelling style, and following the Chicago author-date style (see The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition). Include a 200-word abstract.

Questions about this special issue, edited by editorial-board member Ed McLuskie, can be emailed to [email protected].

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