The Ethics of Participatory Processes: Dynamic Flux, Open Questions

  • Peter J. TaylorEmail author
Part of the Ecology and Ethics book series (ECET, volume 2)


Collaboration and participation are widely emphasized in environmental planning and management. This chapter describes a discussion group on the ethics of participatory processes, raises the possibility of translating the non-equilibrium or dynamic flux view of ecological complexity into a view of ethics and social action, and introduces five ideals for a “dynamic flux ethics”—engagement, participation, cultivating collaborators, transversality, and fostering curiosity. These ideals are linked to a schema woven out of the discussion group’s contributions. What sense of stewardship might come from participatory processes informed by this initial exploration of dynamic flux ethics is left as an open question.


Curiosity Dialogue Dynamic flux Engagement Transversality 



Helpful comments on a draft were given by Marien González Hidalgo, Kurt Jax, Steward Pickett, and an anonymous editor. This chapter would not have been possible without those who took the risk to join the discussion group on the ethics of collaborative or participatory processes at the 2011 Cary conference and, through their respectful interactions, generated insights that stimulated me to further inquiry. The line of thinking conveyed in this chapter is, however, one I pursued on my own, aware of the limitations this implies.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in Critical and Creative Thinking, Program on Science, Technology and Values, College of Education and Human DevelopmentUniversity of MassachusettsBostonUSA

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