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The possibilities and limits of participation at the ‘bottom’ (represented, for example, by PRA and PLA) have been well articulated in development literature. However, the emergence of the Knowledge Society has opened up spaces for what we could call participation at the ‘top’ (free software, wiki, open access), the implications of which Development Studies is only beginning to grapple with. Building upon recent debates on the issue, we take the cases of the free software movement and participatory development, arguing that they share common ground in several ways. We aim to offer a few pointers on conceptualising development in the Knowledge Society.

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