a1 University of Lincoln, Department of Policy Studies E-mail: email@example.com
a2 Manchester Metropolitan University, Department of Psychology and Social Change
The idea of participation has been central to many policy developments in recent years. Both Conservative and Labour governments have used notions of participation and involvement in attempts to justify and implement their social policies. Yet, despite a plethora of initiatives and guidance around ‘participation’ emerging from all levels of government, and a substantial academic literature, there remains a major, and potentially damaging, lack of clarity over many aspects of participation, while the secret of achieving ‘real’ participation appears to continue to remain elusive.