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Paradoxes of participation: questioning participatory approaches to development

  • Frances Cleaver

    (Development and Project Planning Centre, University of Bradford, UK)

Registered author(s):

    This article suggests that the concepts underlying participatory approaches to development should be subject to greater critical analysis. Drawing on research on water resource management in sub-Saharan Africa, and on social theory concerning the recursive relationship between agency and structure, it illustrates the need for a more complex understanding of issues of efficiency and empowerment in participatory approaches. Particularly, two key concepts are examined: ideas about the nature and role of institutions ; and models of individual action . The article concludes by identifying the questions such an analysis raises about the relationships between community, social capital and the state. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 11 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 597-612

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:11:y:1999:i:4:p:597-612
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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    1. Richard R. Nelson, 1995. "Recent Evolutionary Theorizing about Economic Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 48-90, March.
    2. Carmen Deere & Magdalena Leon, 1998. "Gender, land, and water: From reform to counter-reform in Latin America," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 375-386, December.
    3. Thompson, John, 1995. "Participatory approaches in government bureaucracies: Facilitating the process of institutional change," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1521-1554, September.
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