A decade of learning about publics, participation, and climate change: Institutionalising reflexivity?

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Building on previous studies of participatory learning amongst individuals within discrete participation processes, the authors examine organisationally situated processes of learning related to public participation in science and environmental governance. Qualitative analysis of documents and semistructured interviews is used to explore frames of participation, publics, and the issue of climate change, both transforming and stable. This illuminates trends of learning in the context of the organisational network around the UK Government-funded body Sciencewise and related organisations, from 2000 to 2010. It is argued that formal organisational learning mechanisms foster instrumental learning, precluding reflective and relational learning which could potentially transform organisational assumptions and routines around participation. However, informal social networks have promoted transformative social learning and reflexivity at particular moments during the decade.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1162-1183
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • public engagement
  • learning
  • institutional reflexivity
  • frames

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