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Participation: The New Tyranny?
Contributed by The Editors   

Participation: the New Tyranny?(2001) edited by Bill Cooke and Uma Kothari 
This edited volume provides a collection of critical perspective on participatory approaches. The chapters range from very theoretical analyses to more concrete case-studies of how participation is sought in practice.

In the context of contemporary development thinking, which at times treats participation as a panacea, this text provides a useful counterbalance. It calls for greater prudence in both our assumptions concerning participation, as well as its deployment in development planning.

This book is well written and the analyses are in-depth. It provides some of the most incisive critiques of participation as currently “practiced”, but its authors have also been criticized for their lack of practical experience.


This text is of interest to both students and practitioners; however those unfamiliar with the participation agenda would be well advised to read an introductory text prior to this one.

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