This article argues that participation and inclusion are independent dimensions of public engagement and elaborates the relationships of inclusion with deliberation and diversity. Inclusion continuously creates a community involved in defining and addressing public issues; participation emphasizes public input on the content of programs and policies. Features of inclusive processes are coproducing the process and content of decision making, engaging multiple ways of knowing, and sustaining temporal openness. Using a community of practice lens, we compare the consequences of participatory and inclusive practices in four processes, finding that inclusion supports an ongoing community with capacity to address a stream of issues.
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We thank the study participants who generously contributed their time and insights. We appreciate the incisive suggestions of the editors of JPER, the three attentive and helpful reviewers, and Michel Anteby, Jesse Baker, Scott Bollens, Candice Carr Kelman, Pierre Clavel, Nicole Doerr, Heather Goldsworthy, Patsy Healey, David Holwerk, Helen Ingram, Sang-Tae Kim, Francesca Polletta, Mike Powe, Francesco Rullani, Monica Worline, Mark Zbaracki, and audiences providing commentary on presentations of this work at the University of California, Irvine, University of Minnesota, University of Buffalo, and University of Albany, and at conferences hosted by the Public Management Research Association, European Group on Organization Studies, Association of Colleges and Schools of Planning, and Urban Affairs Association. We gratefully acknowledge logistical support from Giulietta Perrotta and Mary Maronde.
- community of practice
- public engagement