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Do-It-Yourself DemocracyThe Rise of the Public Engagement Industry$
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Caroline W. Lee

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199987269

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199987269.001.0001

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The Arts and Crafts of Real Engagement

The Arts and Crafts of Real Engagement

(p.123) 5 The Arts and Crafts of Real Engagement
Do-It-Yourself Democracy

Caroline W. Lee

Oxford University Press

What are the explicit and implicit messages of public engagement’s antiauthoritarian and antibusiness practices? Chapter 5 untangles the distinction between designer democracy and ready-to-wear democratic solutions, with an emphasis on the artistic customization of blue-chip processes. Creative arts and dramatic performances invigorate deliberative work with local authenticity and seem to reject business logics of instrumentality. For most scholars, public engagement has looked like the second coming of the public sphere, a nostalgic community space protected from big business and politics as usual. But this impression neglects the extent to which citizen “creativity” is linked to fiscal discipline, as described in chapter 6.

Keywords:   creative and performing arts, business as usual, politics as usual, designer democracy, localization

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