Guest Editorial: Knowledge democracy for a transforming world

Main Article Content

Budd Hall
Rajesh Tandon


The past five decades have seen enormous, worldwide growth in, and appreciation of, knowledge democracy – the discourse which we have found best contains the various theoretical approaches, values and practices within which participatory research exists. This Introduction outlines our understanding of knowledge democracy, which can be expressed by a number of principles: (1) Recognition of a multiplicity of epistemologies and ways of knowing; (2) Openness to assembling, representing and sharing knowledge in multiple forms (including traditional academic formats and all manner of social and arts-based approaches); (3) Recognition that knowledge emerging from the daily lives of excluded persons is an essential tool for social movements and other transformational strategies; and the (4) Requirement to carefully balance the need to protect the ownership of communities’ knowledge with the need to share knowledge in a free and open access manner. We are pleased to present five articles from around the world that broaden and deepen our understanding of knowledge democracy – from a theoretical perspective, a practice perspective, an ontological perspective, and an action or political perspective.

Article Details

Knowledge democracy for a transforming world
Author Biographies

Budd Hall

Director, Office of Community-Based Research, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, Vancouver

Rajesh Tandon

Co-Chair, UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education