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The tyranny of participation revisited: international support to local governance in Burundi.
Gaynor, Niamh
The ubiquitous yet amorphous concept of participation has resulted in much critical debate on its impact and outcomes at both micro (project) and macro (policy) levels. In highlighting what some have termed the ‘tyranny’ of participation, these debates have also provided valuable insights into how participative spaces might be rendered more transformative. But to what extent have these contributions informed policy and practice on the ground, most particularly within agencies and among practitioners supporting so-called participatory initiatives? This article draws on findings from field research conducted in 2011 on the opportunities for community participation in the recently introduced decentralisation programme in Burundi. Exploring actors’ understandings of the concept, together with practices on the ground, it argues that despite a promising legislative and institutional context, an ahistorical and apolitical approach to the practical roll-out of the programme has resulted in little change from the top-down, hierarchical and ultimately marginalising practices of the past. Some lessons are drawn aimed at realising the transformative potential of the opportunities offered by legislative and institutional reforms currently in place.
Keyword(s): Sociology; International relations; Adult education; Gender; Public administration; Political science
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): Gaynor, Niamh ORCID: 0000-0001-5645-7032 <> (2013) The tyranny of participation revisited: international support to local governance in Burundi. Community Development Journal, 49 (2). pp. 295-310. ISSN 0010-3802
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press (OUP)
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):,
First Indexed: 2019-11-16 06:28:08 Last Updated: 2019-11-16 06:28:08