The escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel is leaving people in Gaza in urgent need of humanitarian support. Please donate now.

Available documents

No available documents

Oxfam Policy & Practice provides free access to Gender & Development and Development in Practice journal articles.

Download from publisher


Participation was originally conceived as part of a counter-hegemonic approach to radical social transformation and, as such, represented a challenge to the status quo. Paradoxically, throughout the 1980s and 1990s, ‘participation’ gained legitimacy within the institutional development world to the extent of achieving buzzword status. The precise manipulations required to convert a radical proposal into something that could serve the neo-liberal world order led to participation’s political decapitation. Reduced to a series of methodological packages and techniques, participation would slowly lose its philosophical and ideological meaning. In order to make the approach and methodology serve counter-hegemonic processes of grassroots resistance and transformation, these meanings desperately need to be recovered. This calls for participation to be re-articulated within broader processes of social and political struggle in order to facilitate the recovery of social transformation in the world of twenty-first century capitalism.

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis.

Additional details





How to cite this resource

Citation styles vary so we recommend you check what is appropriate for your context.  You may choose to cite Oxfam resources as follows:

Author(s)/Editor(s). (Year of publication). Title and sub-title. Place of publication: name of publisher. DOI (where available). URL

Our FAQs page has some examples of this approach.

Related resources

Here are similar items you might be interested in.

Browse all resources