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About Publics & Practices

Publics & Practices is a group of researchers interested in examining the social, economic, cultural, political and affective production of publics. We address ourselves to the ways in which publics become a matter of political concern for social scientists, states, corporations, and others.

Collectively and individually, cluster members make significant contributions to the School’s research environment. For example, Gabe Mythen is the Director of the cross-institutional North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP), supported by over 25 million pounds of ESRC funding. Michael Mair is the founder and Director of engage@liverpool, an interdisciplinary social science research and training platform which provides support to thousands of researchers in the region and beyond.

Publics & Practices is a collectively-led and managed research group. Each academic year two co-chairs act as central points of contact.

The current co-chairs are Dr Paul Jones and Dr Ciara Kierans.

Aims and Interests

Publics & Practices Aims and Interests module featuring a post-it note with 'To Do' written on it


Our group includes colleagues from a variety of disciplines, including Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology, Public Health, Geography, and International Political Economy. Together we address a wide range of research topics, focusing between us on such diverse matters as material cultures and object histories; politics, government and the state; the discourse of creativity; state violence; architecture; embodiment and politics; digital technologies and sharing; emotions; financialisation; migration and mobilities; political economy and the visual; gender, arts and health policy.

We draw most heavily from intellectual traditions in sociology and anthropology - with particular interests in science and technology studies/analyses of material cultures – and our focus is underpinned by theoretically-informed and empirically-grounded studies. In short, a common interest for cluster members lies in sociological and anthropological approaches to the study of culture, politics, and economics. This interest binds us together in our aims of:

  • Conducting robust theoretical and empirical investigations which produce high-quality, critically engaged publications,
  • Hosting thought-provoking conferences and events which attract both academics and interested members of the wider community,
  • Holding regular reading group meetings where members discuss classic and new ideas and texts of relevance to our shared interests.