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‘Participatory interdisciplinarity’: Towards the integration of disciplinary diversity with stakeholder engagement for new models of knowledge production

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Calls for new models of knowledge production demand more interdisciplinary research in order to: develop holistic solutions, increased stakeholder participation, to consider a plurality of perspectives, and to support a more deliberative democracy approach. However, knowledge production debates have rarely explored the synergies offered through combinations of different research attributes. We develop the concept of ‘participatory interdisciplinarity’ to explore the engagement of a wide range of stakeholders by groups of researchers from different disciplines. This paper examines the benefits and challenges of: interdisciplinarity, stakeholder participation, the integration of interdisciplinarity and participation. We conclude that participatory interdisciplinary approaches can quickly improve understanding and communication amongst both researchers and stakeholders involved in management, with less evidence of immediate instrumental benefits. We outline how ‘participatory interdisciplinarity’ can assist in breaking down barriers between traditional knowledge roles (researcher/stakeholder) and knowledge forms (academic/local) and in activating more integrated environmental management.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-61
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

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