Participation and Collaboration

Concepts, Dilemmas and Interpretations

The centenary volume of Replika discusses various participatory and collaborating practices and research approaches devised with stakeholders that are usually applied in social sciences. This thematic edition opens with the diverse answers received to the following question: ‘According to your qualified experience and practices, what is the significance of participation by non-academic experts, co-researchers, experimental or “laic” researchers, or collaborating with them in any scientific work on your field of expertise?’ Our questionnaire and a thematic session aimed to examine the problematics of participation and collaboration, while also placing them into the context of definitive challenges and practices of social sciences. Our objective was to create an overview to better illustrate the participatory perspective and varied collaborating practices applied in different fields of social sciences, as well as the disciplinary endeavours, related possibilities, obstacles and lessons, not to mention dilemmas of participation, as such. The introductory paper, as designed, places the papers published in the this issue into a broader context, setting the relationship and connection between the answers to the questionnaire and the studies. The present essay discusses the content of the concept of participation, and the involvement of stakeholders (with the inevitable treatment of topics such as power and knowledge creation), partly in the context of the historical transformation of cultural anthropology. Interviews taken with action researchers from various fields do complete the lessons from academic literature.

Released: Replika 100, 23–40.