Breaking through boundaries with PAR – or not? A research project on the facilitation of participatory governance through participatory action research (PAR)

Sanne Siete Visser, Diana Kreemers
2019 Educational Action Research  
In this paper, two researchers reflect on the institutional space for participatory governance in a participatory action research (PAR) process that was initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (ECS) in the Netherlands. It was implemented in two schools by researchers contracted by the ministry. The project's aim was to explore possibilities for involving schools in policy processes using PAR. We conclude that PAR sheds light on the communication strategies, power and
more » ... y balances, and meaning of participation among the participants. The attempt to break through traditional hierarchies generated new insights into the institutional space at both the participating schools and the government institutions that can be used to create participatory approaches to governance. The researchers were the bridging actors between the schools and the government institutions. While previous research showed that a bridging actor can play a positive role as an objective party who is able to deliberate between the participants, we found that it impeded the creation of a participatory governance space. ARTICLE HISTORY
doi:10.1080/09650792.2019.1624380 fatcat:aqtqehx7dfem5dl5bqkitiv65i