"I am delighted to see this book which envisions participatory practice as a 'practical utopia', a transformative way of seeing the world combined with practical approaches to change through emancipatory action research in community, with implications for health and well-being. In seeking to integrate the practical with the visionary, the authors are offering us a way of seeing our lives as community developers, health promoters citizens and professionals as expressions of fundamental values such as freedom, equality, respect and reciprocity" Peter Reason, Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice, University of Bath "Participatory research and popular education are key means to uncovering 'knowledge as if people mattered'. This superb book enriches our understanding of these areas, building on them to create an inclusive - and enticing - world view." Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, University of Liverpool "This book presents a sustained challenge to governments and international organisations, such as the World Bank, which claim to be signed up to people's participation. Community-based action should be about transformative change, as the book's subtitle suggests, and this deeply thoughtful book shows why and how it can be achieved. It is a very welcome addition to the impressive canon being developed by the authors." Professor Gary Craig, Ambassador and Past President, International Association for Community Development
About the Author
Margaret Ledwith lives in Lancaster where she is Emeritus Professor of Community Development and Social Justice at the University of Cumbria. She is also one of the coordinators of the international Collaborative Action Research Network. For many years, she was a community worker/educator in a variety of settings in Scotland and North-West England and it was this experience of working with marginalised communities that forged the foundation of a lifetime commitment to social justice. She has written two previous books: Community Development; A critical approach (2005) and Participating in Transformation; Towards a working model of community empowerment (1997). Jane Springett is Professor of Health Promotion and Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University where she facilitates a participatory action research group within the Institute for Health Research. She has a longstanding interest in ecological approaches to health and wellbeing which is informed by her original background in human geography. She is passionately committed to participatory evaluation and co-edited the ground-breaking Evaluation in Health Promotion published by WHO. She is visiting professor at Kristianstad University, Sweden, where she enabled the development of a research unit dedicated to action research in health and social care.