This chapter deals with acting — the role of social science in action research. It argues that in addition to research projects which are explicitly identified as ‘action research’ much of the process of policy formation and implementation has a strong research component. It establishes a methodological basis for action research in contrast with notions of ‘pure social science’; explores the relationship between action research and the notion of praxis in social research; illustrates with examples drawn from community development, development projects in the global south, health projects and education projects; considers the role of action research in participatory governance. It draws on examples of action research in practice including the UK CDPs of the 1970s.
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