1st Edition

Action Research for Democracy New Ideas and Perspectives from Scandinavia

    264 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    264 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Contemporary society encounters profound economical, socio-ecological and political crises challenging the democratic foundation of our societies. This book addresses the potentials and challenges for Action Research supporting democratic alternatives. It offers a broad spectrum of examples from Scandinavian Action Research showing different openings towards democratic development. The book’s first part contributes with a wide range of examples such as Action Research in relation to the Triple Helix/Mode II contexts, to design as a democratic process, to renewal of welfare work and public institutions, to innovation policies combining Action Research with gender science. In the second part of the book epistemological and ontological dimensions of Action Research are discussed addressing questions of validity criteria related to Action Research, the transformation of knowledge institutions and the specific character of creativity in Action Research. The book offers a basis for theoretical as well as practical oriented discussions and critical reflections within the field of Action Research and related research orientations, involving a wide range of actors.

    Preface.  Editors’ Introduction: Why Action Research for Democracy?  Part One: Renewal of Working Life and Welfare Institutions Through Democratisation. Openings by Action Research and Interactive Research  Introduction to Part One  1. Interactive Research: A Joint Learning Process with the Unions  Maria Bennich, Lennart Svensson and Göran Brulin  2. Design as Democratic Process – and Implications for Innovation  Bo Westerlund and Yngve Sundblad  3. Democratising Innovation Policy by Gender Scientific Participatory Research  Malin Lindberg  4. Empowering Dialogues: A Way to Democratise Knowledge Production?  Ann-Christine Larsson and Sofia Nordmark  5. New Forms of Public Participation: The Festival of Difference as Action Research on the Road to a More Inclusive Labour Market  Ditte Tofteng and Mia Husted  6. Redefining Democratic Welfare – Openings and Future Orientations: Action Research in Danish Day Care Centres  Annegrethe Ahrenkiel  7. Action Research with Teachers: Action and Critique in a Project on Multicultural Education  Signe Hvid Thingstrup  8. Educational Action Research and the Development of Professional Teacher Knowledge  Hilde Hiim  Part Two: Action Research: Rethinking the Societal Role of Science: Democratisation, Sustainability and Historical Experience  Introduction to Part Two  9. Can Action Research Strengthen Democratic Dimensions in Gender Mainstreaming Processes?  Ewa Gunnarsson  10. Organising Research Institutions Through Action Research  Jonas Egmose  11. Towards Democratic Scientific Inquiry?: Participatory Democracy, Philosophy of Science and the Future of Action Research  Erik Lindhult  12. Artistic Sense in Action Research  Birger Steen Nielsen and Kurt Aagaard Nielsen  Postscript.


    Ewa Gunnarsson is Professor Em. at Luleå University of Technology.

    Hans Peter Hansen is Assistant Professor at the Department of Urban and Rural Development at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and is a member of the division of Environmental Communication.

    Birger Steen Nielsen is Professor at the Department of Psychology and Educational Studies, Roskilde University, Denmark. 

    Nadarajah Sriskandarajah is Professor of Environmental Communication within the Department of Urban and Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala.

    'Reflecting on the very rich content of the research presented in this book, we underscore its relevance for an international dialogue. From Latin Ameri-ca and the Caribbean we mention the gradual development of Participatory Action Research (PAR)2 or Participative Research, which began in the 1970s (Gabarrón & Landa, 2006) and was articulated with Popular Education. As an alternative to the positivist model, research practices are introduced that open the way for “learning by transforming”, with three characteristics that provide the foundation for the epistemic identity of participative research in this context: transforming action, production of knowledge and participation of the research subjects in the entire process.'

    Telmo Adams, Paloma Daudt,  Carolina Nunes Ramos, IJAR – International Journal of Action Research