Action Research and Democracy

  • Rudi RooseEmail author
  • Maria Bouverne-De Bie
  • Griet Roets


In this chapter, we discuss a number of points of interest in the relationship between action research and learning democracy, based on our own experiences with action research. Action research can contribute to learning democracy when it evolves as a democratic practice. The core of this practice is the collaboration with those involved. This collaboration is inspired by a practical question that emerges from practices, that is analysed against the background of its meaning for the way in which it intervenes in people’s specific situations and driven by the question whether it contributes to a greater realisation of humanity and social justice. The desired change in action research is therefore not initially intended as a solution for a specific problem, but as increasing the level of doubt about the interpretations of, and actions on, realities and situations. Casting doubt on existing realities and situations, therefore, requires that a variety of possible interpretations of the situations at stake are challenged. Supporting this communicative space, as well as the researcher’s engagement to conduct the study, assumes a performative attitude so that the objective reality is also linked to the intersubjective reality and the social environment of the actors involved.


Accountability Question Communicative Space Action Research Project Sociological Imagination Youth Welfare 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudi Roose
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Bouverne-De Bie
    • 1
  • Griet Roets
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Welfare StudiesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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