Common ground: Centres, scales, and a politics of difference

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)


    Liberal democracy has been very good at managing some differences and less good at managing others. It has been, for example, rather good at differentiating itself from other political systems, such as the authoritarian regimes of the 20th century, by writing its universal history. It has also been good at managing differences amongst democracies by recognising various political cultures. However, it has been less good at acknowledging differences within its own practices – differences that can be reduced neither to political systems nor to political cultures. In this paper we focus on the Northern Territory Parliament in Darwin, Australia, to show how everyday parliamentary practices embed particular assumptions about ‘difference’ and how they are being held together. It is in beginning to name, compare and contrast some of these assumptions that we become gradually sensitised to particular ways in which parliaments ‘do difference,’ and ways that they tend to do so by relying on the envelopment of difference within technologies for the re-production of similarity. However, also moving beyond this assertion, we begin to consider how small indications and ruptures appearing within prevailing concepts of political practice might not point to the need for such ‘re-envelopment’, but rather may flag new moments of opportunity for the practice of democratic politics within prevailing regimes of governance and administration.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event4S/EASST Conference Barcelona 2016: Science and Technology by Other Means -
    Duration: 31 Aug 20163 Sep 2016


    Conference4S/EASST Conference Barcelona 2016


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